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Old 06-16-2007, 01:07 PM   #241
Morthoron
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Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age
Regarding the nature of this site, there is no fanfiction here. There is a separate older BD site which was used for fanfiction. It lies virtually dormant. Less than five pieces have been added there in the past year. There are RPGs on the main site. The RPG sections used to be quite active but for a variety of reasons (Werewolf games, mods who've pulled back a bit, fewer new posters) it is quieter of late. A few stories plod quietly forward. If you count up recent posts, most of the activity lies in Books (and Mirth). This is a Books site in origin and at its heart. I do not see that changing, nor do I want it to change.
CotSA,
Do you have a link to the BD fan-fic site? I wouldn't mind reading some offerings and perhaps adding some of my own. As far as the RPG here, it is quite good, but I am more interested in novelized RP than the strict adherence to RPG'ing norms (that and the fact I have been doing novel-based RP'ing for the last eight or so years).

P.S. Never mind, I overcame my weekend lethargy and found the fan-fic forum by the sweat of my own brow (an epic journey in itself!). Now if I could only use mind control to have the beer bottle leave the fridge and float over to me on its own accord.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:57 PM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Elves do not 'snort'
But Elvish horses do...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flight to the Ford
He felt his tongue cleave to his mouth, and his heart labouring. His sword broke and fell out of his shaking hand. The elf-horse reared and snorted.
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:32 PM   #243
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Drigel, I must apologize for anouncing that deletion of your post. You were/are of course absolutely free to delete as you choose. Most members have, I suspect, deleted posts and I hardly think we are required to give reasons, despite what that little blank box says. What prompted me to comment upon it was the timing. Literally, I read it, hit the reply button, and the reply screen came up blank. I still think it is extraordinary timing.

No doubt with all Tolkien's talk of pipeweed, you folks have entirely the wrong opinion about "snorting." The verb derives from Middle English and only later--going by the OED--do the slang uses of the word appear. It has a completely legitimate use to suggest human contempt or indignation. I recall that (and of course my memory at the end of long, hot day battling the elements in the garden is as liable to tricks as anyone's) the OED records uses by Dickens and Walter Scott to describe characters' reactions of scorn or ridicule to a statement, so the word quite legitimately is not limited to animal breathing noises only .

Besides, my quick perusal of the third part of Mithadan's story, shows that it is Gandalf who is described as snorting, in indigation to being called "father."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithadan
Ćlfwine sat with Olórin and drained yet another cup. "Fine ale," he said. "And a fine night also! Your arrival was timely, father."

Olórin sipped carefully at his cup taking care not to wet his beard. "Father?" he snorted. "You may call me Gandalf. And yes the beer is good, but I have had better. But that was long ago.
I do believe this context is entirely in keeping with that meaning of indignation, especially for a Gandalf the Grey and his wit. I could, of course, have missed the line of 'Pengolodh snorted'--it could even be in one of the stories I haven't read, as I am not generally a reader of fanfiction and have never written any, althhough I have participated in RPGs--but even if I had, as I recall, there are some elves in Tolkien who do feel indignation, great indignation, particularly because of their own sense of their self-dignity, and who would, I suspect, again because of that lack of distance and self-deprecation, lack the wit of a Gandalf. I suppose it all comes down to context and how forgiving a reader is. After all, I seem to recall there are some historical whoopers in LotR like umbrellas.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:09 PM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
No doubt with all Tolkien's talk of pipeweed, you folks have entirely the wrong opinion about "snorting." The verb derives from Middle English and only later--going by the OED--do the slang uses of the word appear. It has a completely legitimate use to suggest human contempt or indignation.
v. snort·ed, snort·ing, snorts
v.intr.
1.
a. To breathe noisily and forcefully through the nostrils.
b. To make a sound resembling noisy exhalation: "The wind snorted across the Kansas plains" Gail Sheehy.
2. To make an abrupt noise expressive of scorn, ridicule, or contempt.

I can fully see a 1st Age Elf the likes of the haughty Caranthir or Curufin snorting. Eol was said to have snorted on any number of occassions.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:12 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by Aiwendil
. . . all of which only goes to show that no one should be too hasty in declaring himself or herself an infallible judge of Tolkien's style. Though for what it's worth (which is probably not much), I do agree that 'Pengolodh snorted' is unsuitable.

Now you may go back to endlessly debating literary pseudo-questions.
Yes, sorry - I was due to rush off for a bus. However. 'Lunch' is a middle-class term. Most Hobbits are not middle class. Actually, out of all the quotes you give 'lunch' is a term used by the narrator - apart from the single use by Pippin. I still say that the average Hobbit would not use the term, & would prefer 'dinner' - unless they were 'putting on airs'.

However, I shall be more careful with my examples in future.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:25 PM   #246
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So does Merry
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Originally Posted by Flotsam and Jetsam, TTT
- No, I don't think so, Merry laughed. But that is another story, which can wait until after lunch.
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:56 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by Raynor
So does Merry
Yes, another upper middle-class Hobbit, which puts him into a minority. And I refer you to the answer I gave earlier, 'cos I've lost interest in this point now - it was a throwaway point, generally correct, in that most hobbits are not middle-class & would not use a middle-class term like 'lunch' but would say 'dinner'. The point is that a writer of M-e fiction has to be aware of the subtleties of class distinction etc, & too many writers are not.

Middle-class Hobbits say 'lunch' & middle-class Hobbits are in the minority in the Shire. They are the exception. Hence, its true to say that Hobbits do not say 'lunch' - just as its true to say that Hobbits have nothing to do with Elves. Those Hobbits who do have anything to do with Elves are a tiny minority. LotR focusses on a tiny minority of unusual Hobbits. Hobbits don't wear footwear - (except for the minority who wear boots).

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The habit of building farm-houses and barns was said to have begun among the inhabitants of the Marish down by the Brandywine. The Hobbits of that quarter, the Eastfarthing, were rather large and heavy-legged, and they wore dwarf-boots in muddy weather.
Geddit?

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Old 06-23-2007, 03:45 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Yes, another upper middle-class Hobbit, which puts him into a minority. And I refer you to the answer I gave earlier, 'cos I've lost interest in this point now - it was a throwaway point, generally correct, in that most hobbits are not middle-class & would not use a middle-class term like 'lunch' but would say 'dinner'. The point is that a writer of M-e fiction has to be aware of the subtleties of class distinction etc, & too many writers are not.

Middle-class Hobbits say 'lunch' & middle-class Hobbits are in the minority in the Shire. They are the exception. Hence, its true to say that Hobbits do not say 'lunch' - just as its true to say that Hobbits have nothing to do with Elves. Those Hobbits who do have anything to do with Elves are a tiny minority. LotR focusses on a tiny minority of unusual Hobbits. Hobbits don't wear footwear - (except for the minority who wear boots).


Geddit?
No, I don't 'get it'. The term 'lunch' is a casual term, short for 'luncheon' (derived from the Middle English 'nuncheon'); in other words a noontime meal. I don't see any correlation to the word lunch being a Hobbitish upper-middle class term. 'Afternoon tea' would be more of a distinction among the squirearchy (and Pippin and Merry were indeed of that caste) than lunch, as even the poorer Hobbits insisted on at least three square meals (or four or five, if they could get it). You're out to lunch on this one, in a manner of speaking.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:22 PM   #249
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The social consequences of mis-use of lunch/dinner and supper/dinner/tea are deep. Don't you believe otherwise. People have been hounded out of Yorkshire for over use of sinister words like 'lunch'. The only way you can get away with using the word lunch round these parts is to add -eon meat to the end of it. And even then someone will ask you if you're too stuck up for Spam.

The matter is only slightly less dangerous than all the pitfalls to be had when using napkins (I avoid this by wiping me gob on me sleeve).
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:56 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by Morthoron
No, I don't 'get it'. The term 'lunch' is a casual term, short for 'luncheon' (derived from the Middle English 'nuncheon'); in other words a noontime meal. I don't see any correlation to the word lunch being a Hobbitish upper-middle class term..
Yes, very good point, perceptive, insightful & well worth making - I think you'll find I made it myself in the post that started this tangent off:

Quote:
Now, lunch is wrong. 'Luncheon' is pushing it. 'Nuncheon' might work for a midday meal, but Hobbits would have Dinner at mid-day. Breakfast, dinner, tea, supper.
However, you're missing the point. Hobbits are primarily working class English folk. Working class English folk do not have 'lunch' - we have dinner. Clever arguments based on derivations of words are all very fine, but are rarely relevant when it comes to how people from various classes actually use language. I am a member of the English working class. I grew up among the English working class, & my whole family without exception were of the English working class, & I can tell you that at mid-day the English working class, certainly up to very recent years, have 'dinner' at mid-day, not 'lunch'. In fact, in Yorkshire we have our 'snap' at dinner time - snap being food & providing the term 'knapsack' which was originally 'snapsack', or food sack.

And, if you can tell me how this whole digression is relevant to the thread I'll be happy to continue it. If not, I'm happy to leave it here.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:21 PM   #251
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Originally Posted by davem
Yes, very good point, perceptive, insightful & well worth making - I think you'll find I made it myself in the post that started this tangent off:
No, actually your statement is the antithesis of what I said, but that's okay, because the whole matter seems to disturb you far more than it does me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
However, you're missing the point. Hobbits are primarily working class English folk. Working class English folk do not have 'lunch' - we have dinner. Clever arguments based on derivations of words are all very fine, but are rarely relevant when it comes to how people from various classes actually use language. I am a member of the English working class. I grew up among the English working class, & my whole family without exception were of the English working class, & I can tell you that at mid-day the English working class, certainly up to very recent years, have 'dinner' at mid-day, not 'lunch'. In fact, in Yorkshire we have our 'snap' at dinner time - snap being food & providing the term 'knapsack' which was originally 'snapsack', or food sack.
Yes, I am sure you are the salt of the earth and wave a red flag on May Day, but since Tolkien was not from Yorkshire, it seems evident the word 'lunch' did not manifest such a malevolent reaction in him as from you Northern Brits. In the U.S., 'dinner' has a much more formal connotation than 'lunch' (and in most cases dinner is interchangeable with 'supper'); but again, 'lunch' is used casually in several instances in the books and does not seem to have any profound or aristocratic intent other than a midday meal. *shrugs*

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
And, if you can tell me how this whole digression is relevant to the thread I'll be happy to continue it. If not, I'm happy to leave it here.
Well, let's see...we went from Elves (and Elvish horses) snorting to the dramatic interpretations of Lunch(eon). I don't see how one is more relevant than the other, and I do believe that you started the whole digression. But I will halt all unseemly and irrelevant discussion and return to contextual matters...
just as soon as someone reminds me what we were originally talking about.
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Old 06-23-2007, 06:01 PM   #252
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White Tree Continued writing...

Though Tolkien did not want others to "continue" his work or write new stories based on his work, I find it interesting that as in LOTR, Bilbo began writing the Red Book, then he gave it to Frodo to continue, and Frodo gave it Sam and so on... that it reflected how Tollien himself began writing the mythology for ME and he passed it on to Christopher to continue. So who does it go to next? Is it not within us all to continue on in our own way? We won't all have the same story to tell, but does that mean that we should't tell it? That's just my thought on the subject.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:21 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by Morthoron
No, actually your statement is the antithesis of what I said, but that's okay, because the whole matter seems to disturb you far more than it does me.
I don't see how it is 'antithetical' when I was merely making the point that nuncheon, or even luncheon was preferable to the modern (English) Middle class term 'lunch'. It doesn't disturb me at all, to be honest. I was merely seeking to clarify my position.
Quote:
Yes, I am sure you are the salt of the earth and wave a red flag on May Day, but since Tolkien was not from Yorkshire, it seems evident the word 'lunch' did not manifest such a malevolent reaction in him as from you Northern Brits. In the U.S., 'dinner' has a much more formal connotation than 'lunch' (and in most cases dinner is interchangeable with 'supper'); but again, 'lunch' is used casually in several instances in the books and does not seem to have any profound or aristocratic intent other than a midday meal. *shrugs*
Actually, I was not making a political but a social comment - that, being a member of the English working class I am able to comment on word usage among the English working class. Of course, Tolkien was not from Yorkshire (sad though that be for us tykes to admit, & probably a source of trauma to JRRT himself - you'd have to be English to realise how high this county is held in national esteem). He did, however, provide the Foreword to Haigh's 'A New Glossary of the Dialect of the Huddersfield District'. As Janet Brennan Croft comments:

Quote:
In 1928, J.R.R. Tolkien published a six-page Foreword to A New Glossary of the Dialect of the Huddersfield District, written by Walter Edward Haigh, a long-time resident of that area. This dialect was of great interest to Tolkien as a philologist, since it comes from an area where the speech of the North and of the western Midlands overlap, and bears the linguistic marks of invasions from the Scandinavian countries, the fourteenth-century revival of Anglo-Saxon literature, and the Norman conquest. Tolkien is full of praise for the wide range of the glossary, its inclusion of both rare and common words, and the "excellence, humour, and idiomatic raciness of its illustrative quotations". He surely must have nodded in agreement with Haigh's own unequivocal statement that a local dialect "is as worthy of our care and pride as are our ancient buildings, and more than as intimately useful," and his encouragement of bilingualism in standard English and one's ancestral dialect. Huddersfield, located in West Yorkshire, is a fairly young town born during the Industrial Revolution out of a cluster of older, smaller villages. In 1890, its population was over 90,000, and it was considered one of the wealthier cities in the country, being a center for the engineering, brewing, cotton, and wool industries. Tolkien considers the dialect preserved in this glossary to be rather "conservative," retaining elements long abandoned in other regions, because of its isolation "out of the main way of such traffic as there was" before this time.
Yes, 'lunch' (as I've stated about 4 or 5 times in this debate, is used in the books, mostly by the narrator, & occasionally by upper middle class characters. Upper middle class characters among Hobbits are the exception rather than the rule, The Shire having a social organisation the nearest equivalent of which would have been probably medieval Iceland (rather than England, due to the 'anarchic' political regime favoured by Tolkien). The way 'lunch'/'dinner' is used in America is both irrelevant to the way it is used in England (specificallly the English midlands) & therefore how it would be used by Hobbits, & conversely, of supreme importance - if a sequel is to be written by an American (& before anyone accuses me of bias I'd say the same about a sequel written by a middle class english writer.

Now, to repeat myself again, it was a generalisation, made in a rush. I'll try not to do it again. It was also, as I've shown, generally correct, from a linguistic point of view. What I will concede though, is that only middle class Hobbits would (or should) use the word 'lunch', that being a contraction of luncheon, only recorded from 1829, according to the On-line Etymology Dictionary - which is the only resource I can be bothered to consult at the moment.

Quote:
Well, let's see...we went from Elves (and Elvish horses) snorting to the dramatic interpretations of Lunch(eon). I don't see how one is more relevant than the other, and I do believe that you started the whole digression. .
I did do that, for which I'm heartily sorry. I even acknowledged it was a digression, & basicallly irrelevant to the main topic. I didn't mention the Elvish horses snorting, merely pointing out that Elves don't snort. The differences between Elves & their horses would probably justify a whole thread in itself, & I will not risk taking this thread any further off topic by starting a list here.
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Old 06-24-2007, 03:26 AM   #254
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Tolkien may not have been from Yorkshire, and in contrast to davem I reckon he was quite pleased about that - he did have a fondness for Lancashire's green and verdant valleys - but he would have well known the essential difference between lunch and dinner. This is in the very blood of the English, class is of vital importance to us, to none more so than the eternally anxious middle classes.

Note how Tolkien makes play of a Lancastrian working class term for dinner - baggin becomes Baggins, a witty name for a Hobbit obsessed with his grub. Rather like snap this word comes from the fact that the working man's main meal of the day was carried off to the field or foundry in a bag.

If you think the use of 'lunch', 'dinner' and other terms amongst Hobbits is entirely casual on Tolkien's behalf you are sorely mistaken. He was an Englishman, keenly aware of class and language and how they are interlinked, as shown in his work; in The Shire there is much satire on the British way of life - cast that subtlety aside at your peril
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Old 06-24-2007, 05:01 AM   #255
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What's interesting is that 'lunch' does not appear in The Hobbit at all ('lunchtime' is used once) - based on an overly quick skim. In FotR the word is used 8 times - 7 times by the narrator & once by Pippin. In TT it is used twice - once by Merry & once by Gimli:

Quote:
'No, I don't think so," Merry laughed. "But that is another story, which can wait until after lunch." "Well let us go and have lunch then!" said the Dwarf.
- though there one gets the sense that Gimli is 'mirroring' Merry's language, either out of politeness or friendly teasing - 'lunch' is hardly a Dwarvish term one feels.

In RotK it isn't used at all. Hence, a specifically middle-class term for the mid-day meal * (arising, as I stated, in the early 19th Century), &, given the nature of Hobbit society, not one that would be in general usage - given the fact that Hobbits are based on rural English folk & that 'lunch' is not a word used by rural English folk.

* cf the Asparagus/'Sparrowgrass' thing - Asparagus is to Lunch what Sparrowgrass is to dinner. Or, in other words, Merry & Pippin would eat Asparagus for lunch, while Sam & the Gaffer would have Sparrowgrass for dinner. Or the bitter Nasturtians/Nasturtiums controversy.....

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Old 06-24-2007, 07:53 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë
If you think the use of 'lunch', 'dinner' and other terms amongst Hobbits is entirely casual on Tolkien's behalf you are sorely mistaken. He was an Englishman, keenly aware of class and language and how they are interlinked, as shown in his work; in The Shire there is much satire on the British way of life - cast that subtlety aside at your peril
Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
In RotK it isn't used at all. Hence, a specifically middle-class term for the mid-day meal * (arising, as I stated, in the early 19th Century), &, given the nature of Hobbit society, not one that would be in general usage - given the fact that Hobbits are based on rural English folk & that 'lunch' is not a word used by rural English folk.
*The Dark Elf notes with delight the continuance of a digression*

Considering the controversy swirling about the terms 'lunch' and 'dinner' (which obviously is the demarkation point between civilized society and utter chaos), I briefly perused LOTR this morning and found a discussion in the Ivy Bush between the Gaffer, Old Noakes, Ted Sandyman, Daddy Twofoot and other rustic, working class stiffs. This comment I found most interesting:

Quote:
'I've heard they went on the water after dinner in the moonlight," said Old Noakes, and it was Drogo's weight as sunk the boat.'
Two things here: 1) 'dinner' takes place in the evening, and 2) the phrase 'as sunk the boat' identifies Old Noakes' speech pathology as working class, as neither Frodo, Sam, Merry or Pippin use such figures of speech (which are reserved to identify rustics such as Sam, the Gaffer and Sandyman).

I think you're both confusing Hobbits with actual people. The Hobbits, even the poorest, ate more meals a day ('six if they could get it') than we do; ergo, they would naturally have more designations for meal times that the entire Hobbitish society would consider acceptable terminology.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:22 AM   #257
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Fascinating digression. I can't help but think this is precisely the kind of debate that would take place if persons began creating/reformulating "official" Middle Earth stories. Do Elves snort? Do Hobbits have 'lunch'? And of course the eternal question "What would Tolkien say?"
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Old 06-24-2007, 09:49 AM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
Two things here: 1) 'dinner' takes place in the evening, and 2) the phrase 'as sunk the boat' identifies Old Noakes' speech pathology as working class, as neither Frodo, Sam, Merry or Pippin use such figures of speech (which are reserved to identify rustics such as Sam, the Gaffer and Sandyman).
Quote:
Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, goodnatured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it) (TH An Unexpected Party).
Clearly the 'dinner' Noakes is referring to is 'second' dinner.

In The Council of Elrond we have Bilbo stating:
Quote:
'Exactly! And who are they to be? That seems to me what this Council has to decide, and all that it has to decide. Elves may thrive on speech alone, and Dwarves endure great weariness; but I am only an old hobbit, and I miss my meal at noon. Can't you think of some names now? Or put it off till after dinner?'
Even Pippin is not averse to using the traditional term for the mid-day meal:

Quote:
'Nine o'clock we'd call it in the Shire,' said Pippin aloud to himself. 'Just the time for a nice breakfast by the open window in spring sunshine. And how I should like breakfast! Do these people ever have it, or is it over? And when do they have dinner, and where?'
Now, unless you want to argue that Pippin, thinking he has missed breakfast, is expecting the next meal to be an evening 'dinner' (ie that he is planning on going from nine in the morning to six or seven in the evening without food) one has to assume that he is thinking of the meal that follows breakfast - which is not 'lunch', apparently, but 'dinner'.

What this clearly shows is that 'lunch' is not even the only way that middle class Hobbits refer to the mid-day meal. They will as happily say 'dinner'. What we see, therefore, is that the mass of Hobbits call the mid-day meal 'dinner'. A couple of middle class dandies among them use the affected term 'lunch'. All other uses of 'lunch' are down to the narrator/translator.
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:50 PM   #259
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Originally Posted by davem
Clearly the 'dinner' Noakes is referring to is 'second' dinner.
Hmmm...and what happened to 'supper', another one of your unshakeable social institutions? Or are you now saying that supper is not part of the equation? Would Old Noakes (a rustic by speech pathology) be inclined or be able to afford 'second dinner', or would he be of Yorkshire persuasion and eschew the term 'dinner' (which is 'lunch') and instead use 'supper' (which is 'dinner')? By your use of the word 'clearly' you are trying to impose and absolute on something that is not clear-cut in the least; in fact, as with many discussions I've had regarding Tolkien over the last few decades, one can say that Tolkien emulates the Elves: he says both yes and no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Even Pippin is not averse to using the traditional term for the mid-day meal:
Imagine that, Pippin using 'lunch ' and 'dinner' synonymously (just as if it didn't matter to him in the least). Perhaps it didn't matter in the least to Tolkien as well. Actually, the more quotes I read, the more he seems to be disinclined to give an official designation to anything but breakfast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
What this clearly shows is that 'lunch' is not even the only way that middle class Hobbits refer to the mid-day meal. They will as happily say 'dinner'. What we see, therefore, is that the mass of Hobbits call the mid-day meal 'dinner'. A couple of middle class dandies among them use the affected term 'lunch'. All other uses of 'lunch' are down to the narrator/translator.
Again, your attempt to use absolutes is untenable, just as implying that the term 'lunch' is an upper-class term is unsupportable. It is obvious to me they are interchangeable, just as, by your own designation, 'dinner' and 'supper' are interchangeable. An upper class Hobbit uses lunch and dinner synonymously (surprising that a 'middle-class dandie' would deign to use a term below his station), and a lower class Hobbit uses dinner in place of what clearly should be supper (which would be absolutely unacceptable in Yorkshire).

As far as 'lunch' being used often by the narrator/translator, just whom do you think that is, exactly? My guess would be the author, Tolkien, hadn't the slighest concern over using the term 'lunch' in any applicable situation.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:44 PM   #260
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Fascinating digression. I can't help but think this is precisely the kind of debate that would take place if persons began creating/reformulating "official" Middle Earth stories. Do Elves snort? Do Hobbits have 'lunch'? And of course the eternal question "What would Tolkien say?"
Morwen - Interesting comment, but it seems to me that we're already doing this in connection with the central writings of Tolkien: weighing the meaning of words and drawing attention to various cultural/religious nuances according to the different perspectives and persuasions of each reader. The debate on this thread over vocabulary is not unique. So,other than the last question you raise, I'm not sure how different the conversations actually would be in relation to any later additions to the Legendarium. Basically, it would be just more of the same. I'm not raising the whole question of the rightness or wrongness of those additions.....merely noting that the process of argument you've described is one that is already taking place.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:52 PM   #261
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I'm not suggesting that the digression's discussion of language, use of words is somehow unique.
But for me it highlights one of the problems for anyone who would wish to create new ME stories - whether their use of language or their potrayal of characters is consistent with what already exists, i.e. Middle Earth as Tolkien conceived it. Commenting on Tolkien's use of language is one thing. Discussing another person's use of language in an attempt to create ME fiction is another.The conversations/debates that would follow would differ from what exist as they would be examining not just the meaning or nuances of this word or that but whether the word should have been used at all, whether a particular character in ME can accurately be described as behaving in a particular way.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:10 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by Morthoron
Hmmm...and what happened to 'supper', another one of your unshakeable social institutions? Or are you now saying that supper is not part of the equation? Would Old Noakes (a rustic by speech pathology) be inclined or be able to afford 'second dinner', or would he be of Yorkshire persuasion and eschew the term 'dinner' (which is 'lunch') and instead use 'supper' (which is 'dinner')? By your use of the word 'clearly' you are trying to impose and absolute on something that is not clear-cut in the least; in fact, as with many discussions I've had regarding Tolkien over the last few decades, one can say that Tolkien emulates the Elves: he says both yes and no.
Not following this line of argument. Noakes refers to 'dinner' as an evening meal. Hobbits have two dinners when they can get them. Where supper comes into it I'm not sure. I will say though that 'supper' is often used to refer to a very light meal taken just before bed, & one wouldn't usually go out after supper - that's not a rule though.

Quote:
Imagine that, Pippin using 'lunch ' and 'dinner' synonymously (just as if it didn't matter to him in the least). Perhaps it didn't matter in the least to Tolkien as well. Actually, the more quotes I read, the more he seems to be disinclined to give an official designation to anything but breakfast.
No. You're missing the point. These distinctions are extremely significant - & extremely noticeable for an English reader. Look - I'm sure that there are distinctions in speech patterns & phraseology between New Yorkers, Texans & Californians which I wouldn't pick up on, but you would. There are also class distinctions even in the US - a homeless man in New York would speak very differently from a Yale graduate. In England - & particularly in the rural Edwardian England that Tolkien used as a model for the Shire, there were very fine distinctions in phraseology.

Quote:
Again, your attempt to use absolutes is untenable, just as implying that the term 'lunch' is an upper-class term is unsupportable. It is obvious to me they are interchangeable, just as, by your own designation, 'dinner' and 'supper' are interchangeable. An upper class Hobbit uses lunch and dinner synonymously (surprising that a 'middle-class dandie' would deign to use a term below his station), and a lower class Hobbit uses dinner in place of what clearly should be supper (which would be absolutely unacceptable in Yorkshire).
I implied it was a middle class term (or upper middle class). The fact that to you as an American the terms are interchangeable & to me as an English person they are not is the whole point. To you a rural working class Hobbit like the Gaffer having 'lunch' is perfectly fine. To me it would stick out like a sore thumb & feel wrong - because I know how rural English folk speak.

Quote:
As far as 'lunch' being used often by the narrator/translator, just whom do you think that is, exactly? My guess would be the author, Tolkien, hadn't the slighest concern over using the term 'lunch' in any applicable situation.
Sorry, but an English ear will pick up on subtleties of speech & terminology which a non English ear will not. You can argue about the interchangeability of lunch/dinner & dinner/supper till the cows come home. I accept that a new M-e novel which treated those terms (& others) as interchangeable would not cause a problem for non English readers. I'm just telling you that for English readers they would jar.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:35 AM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
As far as 'lunch' being used often by the narrator/translator, just whom do you think that is, exactly? My guess would be the author, Tolkien, hadn't the slighest concern over using the term 'lunch' in any applicable situation.
I would go further, and point that LotR was written by hobbits, Bilbo, Frodo, and even Sam.

I am also curious concerning the moment in time when these "classes" presumably appeared in the Shire, esspecially the aristocracy. Since the Third Age is some 6.000 years ago, could there have been such a thing as a middle class ? Isn't this a notion forced upon this work?
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:46 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by davem
Sorry, but an English ear will pick up on subtleties of speech & terminology which a non English ear will not. You can argue about the interchangeability of lunch/dinner & dinner/supper till the cows come home. I accept that a new M-e novel which treated those terms (& others) as interchangeable would not cause a problem for non English readers. I'm just telling you that for English readers they would jar.
Indeed, and they would also be differences Tolkien would have been acutely aware of. He was a product of the most class-conscious period of our history, and a product of one sector of that society that would be more aware of it than any other - he was part of the 'poor middle class', having a widowed mother trying to survive and maintain a genteel lifestyle on a pittance; she probably had less income than a working tradesman would at that time.

Yet another subtlety that someone not brought up in this class conscious society might not pick up on is how words can be used and mis-used for effect. If a character like Pippin breaks rank and uses dinner for lunch there's no proof in that being an indicator of his 'class' - we know he is an upper crust young Hobbit so why would he do that? The answer is that young upper crust people often do break rank and use language outside the norm, just as the aristocracy share with the working class a liking for simple food such as bangers and mash and a love of vulgar humour, you'll often hear upper crust lads asking where the 'bogs' or 'traps' are, taking up lower class words and behaviours as a way of establishing 'difference' or eccentricity. I've no doubt Glastonbury this weekend was full of Oxbridge trustafarians, looking like crusties but in reality being the sons and daughters of lords.

But a class-anxious middle class person would never ever use words 'below' them - you'd never get a Sackville-Baggins using dinner for lunch unless it was a social faux pas (I'll bet they used napkin rings though ).

'Supper' is a word used by all classes, but again this has differences. Supper as used by most people refers to something you'd eat towards bedtime, a pot of tea, a bit of toast maybe. But Supper as used by higher classes is also used interchangeably with 'dinner' - maybe it should be referred to as Suppah, as that's how it's pronounced
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:05 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by Raynor
I would go further, and point that LotR was written by hobbits, Bilbo, Frodo, and even Sam.
Taking the translator conceit into account we have to distinguish between what was written by Hobbits (& what was supplimented by the Wise - like Findegil) & the choice of words made by the translator. The Red Book was a composite work, put together by more than Hobbits.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:07 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by davem
Not following this line of argument. Noakes refers to 'dinner' as an evening meal. Hobbits have two dinners when they can get them. Where supper comes into it I'm not sure. I will say though that 'supper' is often used to refer to a very light meal taken just before bed, & one wouldn't usually go out after supper - that's not a rule though.
Your ever-evolving argument, while fascinating, is becoming very convoluted. You have a set perception of what you'd 'like' to see as Tolkien's implication; however, I believe that any reasonable person who is not trying to cast a certain light on the text would see the terminology varies and does not remain constant from a societal standpoint. Let's review your argument:

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
'Nuncheon' might work for a midday meal, but Hobbits would have Dinner at mid-day. Breakfast, dinner, tea, supper. That's what Tolkien's models in Warwickshire & Berkshire would call them. Hobbits, in short, never, ever have 'lunch'.
This was you first assertion. You were adamant that there was no 'lunch' at mid-day but rather dinner. Then you clearly emphasize that supper is the final meal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
I grew up among the English working class, & my whole family without exception were of the English working class, & I can tell you that at mid-day the English working class, certainly up to very recent years, have 'dinner' at mid-day, not 'lunch'.
Again, dinner at midday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Now, unless you want to argue that Pippin, thinking he has missed breakfast, is expecting the next meal to be an evening 'dinner' (ie that he is planning on going from nine in the morning to six or seven in the evening without food) one has to assume that he is thinking of the meal that follows breakfast - which is not 'lunch', apparently, but 'dinner'.
Dinner has now supplanted both lunch and supper; in fact you have abandoned supper altogether as it does not fit from your original model, even though you maintain that Pippin, as a 'middle-class dandie' should be using the term 'lunch' as he does elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
I implied it was a middle class term (or upper middle class). The fact that to you as an American the terms are interchangeable & to me as an English person they are not is the whole point. To you a rural working class Hobbit like the Gaffer having 'lunch' is perfectly fine. To me it would stick out like a sore thumb & feel wrong - because I know how rural English folk speak./
From the previous quote, you yourself maintain that Pippin implied 'dinner' was in fact 'lunch' (as in a mid-day meal). Pippin uses the term interchangeably. The term 'dinner' was used as a late evening meal (moonlight) by the rustic Old Noakes, which you insist is 'second dinner' (even though Noakes makes no such distinction), which goes directly against your original posit that all lower class Englishmen would refer to the meal after tea as supper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Sorry, but an English ear will pick up on subtleties of speech & terminology which a non English ear will not. You can argue about the interchangeability of lunch/dinner & dinner/supper till the cows come home. I accept that a new M-e novel which treated those terms (& others) as interchangeable would not cause a problem for non English readers. I'm just telling you that for English readers they would jar.
You refuse to see the interchangeability that is evident in the text and which you have brought up yourself. Your own bias has clouded your ability to ascertain that there is no absolute in this discussion; therefore, I am bowing out of this aspect of the thread.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:22 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by davem
Taking the translator conceit into account we have to distinguish between what was written by Hobbits (& what was supplimented by the Wise - like Findegil) & the choice of words made by the translator. The Red Book was a composite work, put together by more than Hobbits.
Then there is no issue, right? Because if even in the original work we can find words that, according to some , are not supposed to be there, but they appear due to the intervention of other hands, then any such "slip-ups" in new works are understandable, and excusable, due to the same reasons. If you have no problem with the original, you should have no problem with the new work, as far as this point is concerned.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:32 AM   #268
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This discussion is hilarious!

One side insists on yoking Tolkien's language with the social, cultural and historical aspects of language in the Primary World.

Previously, I do believe that the argument was strenuously insisted upon that for Tolkien's work to succeed, it cannot break the illusion of the sub-created world by referencing the Primary World. Thus, any explanation of the terminology which relies upon language use in that class-ridden little septic isle ( ) means that Tolkien failed to maintain the illusion of his sub-created world -- or that the reader breaks the veil.

Really, I hardly think that a reader needs to know the petty little nuances of English social class distinctions (hah--now there's a double word if ever one existed) at the end of the nineteenth century/early twentieth to enjoy the books or appreciate the fact that food was an important aspect for hobbits. Perhaps these comments highlight just how onerous is Sam's and Frodo's struggle to survive and destroy the Ring when even lembas runs out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aurel
. . . I find it interesting that as in LOTR, Bilbo began writing the Red Book, then he gave it to Frodo to continue, and Frodo gave it Sam and so on... that it reflected how Tollien himself began writing the mythology for ME and he passed it on to Christopher to continue. So who does it go to next? Is it not within us all to continue on in our own way? We won't all have the same story to tell, but does that mean that we should't tell it? That's just my thought on the subject.
This is a particularly appropriate and fascinating analogy; since I repped positively the post, I thought I might as well bring attention to the idea here on the thread, as it had not received any comment. Of course, Tolkien knew a thing or two about how language and stories change. He built that into his own writing, layering the stories through translators and successive writers. Perhaps he simply used this as a literary technique but one wonders if, by giving CT literary stewardship, so to speak, of Middle-earth, Tolkien was attempting to control that kind of literary dispersion? Welcome to the Downs, Aurel.

EDIT: I've editted this last paragraph to make it reflect my sincere thoughts about Aurel's comments, in case the original comment could be misconstrued and I wrote in haste. I received an unsigned negative rep for this post, stating it was "offensive and patronizing," but I had previously positively repped and commented on Aurel's post. I have no idea how many "points" I lost, since I don't particularly keep track of my rep count, so I can't guess if it was a "rep heavy" Downer or not who objected to my comments. I wonder if the anonymity was accidental--we call can accidentally forget to sign a rep comment--or deliberate. If deliberate, why lack the courage to stand by your comment?
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:01 AM   #269
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Ok. Let's say Breakfast, second breakfast, dinner, tea, second dinner, & supper - & we get 'six square meals a day'.

Finally, to get back to my initial post – I was attempting to show how 'lunch' 'felt' wrong, & being in a hurry threw out a few suggestions as to options which might sound better. Being picked up on that I attempted to develop the argument, & show why. That developed into a discussion on the rightness or wrongness of 'lunch'. I think I've shown that 'lunch' is a middle-class Victorian neologism, & its usage would smack of 'putting on airs' to the majority of Hobbits ('Battle Gardens' is thrown out in favour of 'New Row' for the same reason).

What we can say is that the translator/narrator may use lunch & dinner interchangeably. Pippin may also use them interchangeably, but no other character does. Other characters use 'dinner' in every case & Merry uses 'lunch' in the only example we have of him referring to said meal.

Hence, Hobbits don't have 'lunch' – unless they are young men about town putting on airs (as they did in choosing to wear their armour around the Shire long after Sharkey & his ruffians had been dispatched). What you're missing is that their use of 'lunch' is deliberate on Tolkien's part in portraying their characters. It's precisely because Hobbits in general don't 'do lunch' that its significant that Merry & Pippin do.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:52 AM   #270
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This discussion is hilarious!
This distinctly un-class-conscious middle class Englishman rather agrees.

*********************

Sam: “By my reckonin’, Mister Frodo, it’s high time for dinner.”

Frodo: “Dinner? But it’s only just gone midday, Sam.”

Sam: “That’s right, Mister Frodo. Dinner-time.”

Frodo: “Surely you mean lunch-time, Sam?”

Gollum: “Yesss Master, we thinks it’s lunch-time too. Let's do lunch, my preciousss.”

Sam: “Beggin’ your pardon, Mister Frodo, sir, but I’m not sure as I get your meaning. My old Gaffer always insists on six square meals a day: Breakfast, second breakfast, dinner, tea, second dinner, and supper. No mention of this ‘lunch’, whatever that may be when it’s at home.”

Frodo: “Ugh! You mean to say that you don’t ‘do lunch’, Sam? Really, I don’t believe that I can stand your company a moment longer. Come on, Smeagol, let’s leave this grubby little oik here and go on without him.”

*********************

Translator’s note: It is my unfortunate duty to record that Frodo was consumed by Shelob only two days following this incident. The Ring was subsequently picked up by an Orc patrol out of Cirith Ungol and conveyed to Sauron, resulting in his complete and utter victory over the Free Peoples. Gandalf, on the voyage back to Aman, was heard to curse himself for relying on such a ridiculously class conscious people as Hobbits to save the world.

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Old 06-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #271
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This distinctly un-class-conscious middle class Englishman rather agrees.
'fraid the middle classes are the most class conscious of all - they just like to think they aren't....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bb
Really, I hardly think that a reader needs to know the petty little nuances of English social class distinctions (hah--now there's a double word if ever one existed) at the end of the nineteenth century/early twentieth to enjoy the books or appreciate the fact that food was an important aspect for hobbits. Perhaps these comments highlight just how onerous is Sam's and Frodo's struggle to survive and destroy the Ring when even lembas runs out.
But its not about the importance of food - its about the importance of language - which is the reason Tolkien expended so much time on getting speech patterns correct. Of course, most readers don't pick up on it - or would care about it if they did. Its a bit like the medieval masons carving stones that wouldn't ever be seen by visitors to Cathedrals, being behind columns or so high as to be impossible to make out - they were building to the glory of God & sought to make their work as perfect as possible.

What kind of characters would throw around neologisms? Bilbo, Frodo, & the other Hobbits don't say 'lunch', they say 'dinner'. Anyone who can't see that the use of such a neologism by two young men about town is significant is missing a very interesting bit of social commentary on Tolkien's part.

Of course, it doesn't matter if all you're concerned about is the story itself. But LotR is not simply a 'story' its a secondary world & the details matter. Of course one can laugh the whole thing off - I suspect Tolkien may have been having fun with the 'lunch' thing too, but that doesn't mean its insignificant.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:06 PM   #272
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So first it was class issue,
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Originally Posted by davem
Middle-class Hobbits say 'lunch' & middle-class Hobbits are in the minority in the Shire.
But not anymore - now it's an age thing.
Quote:
What kind of characters would throw around neologisms? Bilbo, Frodo, & the other Hobbits don't say 'lunch', they say 'dinner'.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:27 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
This distinctly un-class-conscious middle class Englishman rather agrees.
Aye, spoken as only a modern middle-class Englishman could

Still, I suppose claiming that the classes do not matter any more helps negate the possibility of social fax pas involving garden gnomes, napkins and what you call the toilet, front room and settee. That's why one Tony Blair claims we now live in a meritocracy where class does not matter; this may be fine in The River Cafe but he might find otherwise as he folds his napkin up after a midday-meal* in the Dorchester. :P

*this being a nice bland corporate term we could use instead, when it comes time for the next edition of LotR, so as not to confuse readers from more egalitarian societies on t'other side of t'pond, t'channel, t'watford gap and t'40% income tax bracket.

Funny how nothing seems to ruffle feathers more these days when you bring up class and language in discussion, yet nevertheless, despite the metrosexual tendencies of the modern reader, Tolkien was a product of a class-conscious society and was well aware of the issue. You only have to read the first couple of chapters of The Hobbit to discover a fabulous and gentle satire on middle-class mores, and that's just the beginning of Tolkien's use of the class structure in his work.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:32 PM   #274
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Taters, potatoes...let's call the whole thing off.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:04 PM   #275
Thenamir
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You know, this is, in my not-so-humble opinion, becoming rather like the story about a rich man who commissioned a team of sculptors to fashion a statue of an elephant. The sculptors thought it would make the statue more interesting to add a houdah on the elephant's back and, of course then there had to be a rajah in the conveyance, and before long all the sculptors were focusing their attention on designing the filigree to be sculpted into the rings on the rajah's left index finger.

You all realize, of course, that so passionately arguing that "the finer points of Tolkien's uses of idioms-peculiar-to-the-English are inviolable" wholly invalidates every edition of LOTR that has been translated into other languages. I mean, let's recall every edition in Italian or Swahili, becuase everyone knows you can't have a proper "secondary world" in any language other than Tolkien's original English. Any other language would lose the intangible flavor (or is it "flavour") and local color (or "colour") of the original, and by Eru, we just can't have that. If Tolkien was so careful about language and not-letting-real-world-references-intrude-upon-the-secondary, then riddle me this, Batman: just what in Middle-Earth is a "pop-gun"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalf
"It is not like you, Bilbo, to keep friends waiting on the mat, and then open the door like a pop-gun!"
Much has been made of the Learned Professor's quote decrying the "deplorable cultus" surrounding his Magnum Opus, but here as seldom elsewhere do I see the elevating of LOTR to near-Biblical status, with nearly the same injunction:
Quote:
"if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book" -- Revelation 22:18
I differ with Davem in that while LOTR is one of the most profoundly moving works of fantasy genius, it is just a story. I know that's like calling Romeo and Juliet "just a play", but while it is one of the most famous plays in history, no one would so dissect it as to fume and fuss over his choice of "dinner" over "supper" in a particular scene.

Within the bounds of legality we cannot add to the "canon" of Middle-Earth, but that has not stopped new stories from being written and shared around. We can try to bring this thread back on-topic by discussing whether we should do so, or whether Tolkien intended that others could or should do so, but please let us not elevate LOTR to the realm of the sacred. There are enough revisions and corrections to successive editions to make "infallibility" a moot question.

Personally, I rather enjoyed Gilthalion's "The Hobbits" story in the fan-fic section, and was able to read it and enjoy it as a ripping good piece. The first chapter, describing the death of Mistress Rose, actually brought tears to my eyes. But I wasn't about to pick out whether he chose to use "blueberries" or "cherries" in the pies she baked just before she died. That smacks of verbally breaking something apart to see how it works, and as Gandalf said,
Quote:
He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.
Well, I've given my detractors a whole new set of targets. Let's hope their ammunition is running low.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:33 PM   #276
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Translation is a difficult issue - Tolkien wrote a guide for translators of LotR, & there have been numerous essays on the finer points of the translator's art in regards to Tolkien's work.

The simple fact is that no novel can be translated in such a way as to preserve all its subtleties ('Bottom, though art translated!') & much will be lost, particularly with a novel like LotR. I'm sure there are aspects of LotR & TH which will only be noticed by English readers - & English readers of a certain age & background at that - just as there are aspects of War & Peace or Don Quixote which I as an English reader only able to read those works in translation will never pick up on unless they are pointed out to me by a Russian or Spanish reader. Now, an awareness of those aspects will not be necessary to understand the novels, or appreciate the bigger picture. It is not necessary to be aware of the difference between lunch & dinner for an English reader in order to understand LotR. It is a very minor point of interest & I admit that most English readers will not care one way or the other, let alone readers from other countries, & especially those who read the work in translation.

However, there's a difference between saying 'x' is insignifcant, & is hardly worth making a fuss about, & saying 'x' doesn't exist. The lunch/dinner thing is a little bit of social commentary which an English reader would pick up on & a non English reader probably would not. It seems to me that, unusually, some posters have taken such umbrage with my posts that they are ignoring what I consider to be a very interesting little insight into class differences in The Shire.

And the wider point? A writer of M-e stories who doesn't get that there is a vast difference for an English reader between lunch & dinner is probably not going to get (or pay attention to) other linguistic & social differences. You see Tolkien based the Hobbits & The Shire on the rural folk he knew in Sarehole at the time of the Diamond Jubilee, & used their speech patterns along with their social structure. Once you start saying 'x' is such a minor point that its not worth bothering about you start down a potentially very slippery slope into generic fantasy, & end up writing 'Dragonlance' books:

Quote:
Halflings in Dungeons & Dragons have been further divided into various subraces:

* Hairfoot halflings were the standard, "common" subrace of halflings in the game's earlier editions. Clearly derived from Tolkien's Harfoots, they most clearly resembled Middle-earth's hobbits, being a good-natured race of homebodies with fur-covered feet. With the advent of the game's Third Edition, they were replaced by lightfoot halflings.
* Tallfellow halflings were based on Tolkien's Fallohides. They are taller than hairfoot or lightfoot halflings, with lighter hair and skin tone, and prefer to build their homes in woodlands. They have survived the change to Third Edition more or less intact.
* Stout halflings were based on Tolkien's Stoors. Shorter but broader than hairfoot halflings, stouts make good craftsmen. In Third Edition they were renamed as deep halflings but have otherwise remained unchanged.
* Furchin, or polar halflings, are the rarest of the subraces. They live in arctic regions and can grow facial hair. Some media, including the Age of Wonders game series, refer to them as frostlings. In the game series Age of Wonders halflings are a good alignment whilst frostlings are a neutral alignment.
* Lightfoot halflings are the standard halfling subrace of Third Edition. They are more removed from Tolkien's halflings, being athletic and ambitious opportunists, although they retain their love of comfort and family. They differ visually from the stereotypical depiction of halfings; rather than having the thicker proportions normally associated with halfings or hobbits, they are slender and graceful in appearance, resembling a human gymnast in miniature.
At some point you have gone too far & are writing something else, & once you start claiming 'this' isn't worth bothering over, or 'that' doesn't signify, you're going to end up with something that is effectively a parody of Tolkien rather than a follow up.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:51 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
It seems to me that, unusually, some posters have taken such umbrage with my posts that they are ignoring what I consider to be a very interesting little insight into class differences in The Shire.
I am curious, who can point to the very existence of classes in the Shire, before we go into the finer points of language?
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:04 PM   #278
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I am curious, who can point to the very existence of classes in the Shire, before we go into the finer points of language?
Have a flick round the Downs. It's been discussed many, many times. Plus you ought to hear what Shippey and Garth have to say on the matter - very entertaining about the satire of the Sackville-Bagginses...
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:06 PM   #279
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Forgive me for stamping my foot so loudly, I believe I broke a bone or two. I suppose that one of my points was that the story is a great story, even if you don’t get all the English class references when you read it in German or Chinese. I would propound a new question for discussion here, directly related to the original thread topic.

Assume for a moment that gifted writers would be allowed with the blessing of the Tolkien Estate to write books or collections of short stories as additions to “canon”. Assume further that the overarching LOTR story can be understood and appreciated as genius in other languages, despite the lack of nuance that, presumably, only English readers will “get.” Can new stories be written within the inviolable boundaries of races, lands, and the rich history of the original works, and yet be written in French, Russian, or even the ghastly American dialect, and still be good stories, perhaps even great stories, in themselves?

I maintain that they can. I don’t find anything particularly wrong with a snorting elf, because within my inferior USian experience a “snort” is not the haughty, rude, and disdainful thing that it seems to be to proper English gentry. If I was writing it, I perhaps would revise it to “(insert elf character name here) lifted an eyebrow in disdain,” but that essentially expresses the same thing to me.

It could even be said that if the story was rewritten to use different phrasing or perhaps different cultural settings when translated into a new language, it might have equally deep and nuanced meaning as the English version does for the English. I shudder to think what a US-inner-city version of LOTR would look like (the mind recoils in horror at the thought of Bilbo “rappin’” his poetry), but it would perhaps “reach” people that the original does not.

I’m sure the divine Miss Bb could speak better to those issues of words and communication, but to drag this wordy post back on topic, dialect and cultural trappings are not what makes LOTR special – it is the inner consistency and the universality of the themes. If someone, and it certainly won’t be me, can propound such themes within the bounds of the existing Tolkienesque sub-universe and make a good story out of it, I don’t find that invalid, even if someone writes pop-guns and pickles into a story supposedly set before such things existed…oops, that was Tolkien himself.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:20 PM   #280
Lalwendë
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Originally Posted by Thenamir

It could even be said that if the story was rewritten to use different phrasing or perhaps different cultural settings when translated into a new language, it might have equally deep and nuanced meaning as the English version does for the English. I shudder to think what a US-inner-city version of LOTR would look like (the mind recoils in horror at the thought of Bilbo “rappin’” his poetry), but it would perhaps “reach” people that the original does not.
Quite frankly, they can go and listen to Enimem or Sneaped Doggy Doo-Dah or Puffed Daddy or whatever.

If you're arksin', it already 'reaches' people.

There's nowt more vomit-worthy (and patronising) than writers/artists trying to 'get down with ver kids' and churning out bogus nonsense. Ugh. It makes me think of David Cameron and his hoody hugging.

Respeck.

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But seriously, such a notion takes away all the subtlety of the work. It would be like burning the Mona Lisa and replacing it with a Paint-By-Numbers Fuzzy Felt version.

I suppose it all depends upon whether you just like the stories or if you like the whole package. You know, like the difference between the films and the books - the former are decent enough, but the latter is the Real Thing.
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