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Old 11-25-2009, 10:55 AM   #121
Bêthberry
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All grammars leak, although not all grammarians and teachers like to admit the fact. So maybe it's the grammarians and teachers who leak?

It is really quite interesting to read what that bible of clear thinking and precise word choice has to say: Fowler's Modern English Usage. It would appear that usage has been muddled and only relatively latterly did the prognosticators declare a preference and even then they got the usage wrong, as applying a difference to which none of the practitioners of the language adhered.

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Originally Posted by farther, further, Modern English Usage
The history of the two words appear to be that further is a comparative of fore and should, if it were to be held to its etymology, means more advanced, and that farther is a newer variant of further, no more connected with far thant further is, but affected in its form by the fact that further , having come to be used instead of the obsolete comparative of far (farrer), seemed to need a respelling that should assimilate it to far. This is intended as a popular but roughtly correct summary of the OED's etymological account. As to the modern use of the two forms, the OED says: 'In standard English the form farther is usually preferred where the word is intended to be the comparative of far, while further is used where the notion of far is altogether absent; there is a large intermediate class of instances in which the choice between the two forms is arbitrary.'

This seems to be too strong a statement [one often loves Fowler for his iconoclasm]: a statement of what might be a useful differentiation rather than of one actually developed or even developing. The fact is surely that hardly anyone uses the two words for different ocasions; most people prefer one or the other for all purposes, and the preference of the majority is for further. [my bolding] Perhaps the most that should be said is that farther is not common except where distance is in question, and that further has gained a virual monopoly of the sense of moreover, both alone and in the compound furthermore. The three pairs of quotations following are selected for comparison from the OED stores.

1. Comparative of far: If you can bear your load no farther,say so. --H. Martineau. It was not thought safe for the ships to proceed further in the darkness. --Macaulay.

2. No notion of far: Down he sat without farther bidding. --Dickens. I now proceed to some further instances. --De Morgan.

3. Intermediate: Punishment cannot act any farther than in as far as the idea of it is present in the mind.
--Bentham. Men who pretend to believe no further than they can see. Berkeley.

On the whole, though differentiations are good in themselves, it is less likely that one will be established for farther and further than that the latter will become universal. In the verb, further has the field virtually to itself.
The first edition of Fowler was 1926; second in 1965.


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Last edited by Bêthberry; 11-25-2009 at 07:04 PM. Reason: sh! typo put to rest
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:30 PM   #122
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Using further in that sense must've been merely standard idiomatic British English of Tolkien's day,]
It still is - both meself & Lal say 'further' (she's Lancastrian & I'm from Yorkshire, so I reckon its in common usage across the north of England). Mind you, here in 'God's Own County', we still commonly say 'thee', 'thine' & 'thou' (though we pronounce it 'tha')!
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #123
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I'm with Tollers on this one !

this makes me wonder if my subconcious grammar usage has been influenced by LoTR - probably.

So for me-


1. Comparative of far: If you can bear your load no farther,say so. --H. Martineau. It was not thought safe for the ships to proceed further in the darkness. --Macaulay.

Either would do, 'farther' sounds more antique (perhaps from Bible usage?)


2. No notion of far: Down he sat without farther bidding. --Dickens. I now proceed to some further instances. --De Morgan.

Definitely 'further' - Who the Dickens would use 'farther' here?


3. Intermediate: Punishment cannot act any farther than in as far as the idea of it is present in the mind. --Bentham. Men who pretend to believe no further than they can see. Berkeley.

Still 'further', Bentham's sentence seems out of true for me.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:16 AM   #124
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Question Nothing here?

I'm surprised that I saw nothing by you here, Legate and Thinlómien; because I feel the Prologue to be important.

It's important as a bridge between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings proper, intended to accustom the reader of the first book to the different atmosphere of the latter.

It's divided into 5 parts. The first is about hobbits in general, their origins and their history, including how they live (with its good and bad points) at the time of both stories.

The second is about the bizzare (to others) custom of the hobbits, of putting a herb into pipes and smoking it, The herb, called pipe-weed, is given enough of a description for the reader to identify it as tobacco. The reason why it's given such early prominence is that the reader will later see it cleverly used throughout the story as a symbol of hobbit identity, as something the four important hobbits miss when they don't have it, and enjoy when they do. I found this interesting; because although The Hobbit revealed that Bilbo, Gandalf and the 13 dwarves smoked pipes, no indication was given that this was originally a hobbit invention.

The third deals with the nearest the 'Shire' (the name the reader now finds out the hobbits call their country) has to 'government', again reinforcing what was told in the first part.

The fourth is an overview of what went on in The Hobbit, putting it into a wider context, suggesting that Bilbo getting the ring was no accident, and that his initial lying to Gandalf about how he did is a hint of something more serious.

The fifth is about the 'book', the first volume from which The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were 'translated' by Tolkien: The Red Book of Westmarch. There is a nice background to what it is, its history, and a heightened awareness of the hobbits of the 'Shire' being part of a far wider history, in which they, formerly unimportant, played a significant part.

There are also a lot of unfamiliar names to go along with the few familiar ones. By the end of the story the reader will understand what it's all about, but not till then.

This does not mean that the reader needs to read the Prologue; but there's a lot of helpful information to prepare him or her for the following story.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:34 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Faramir Jones View Post
It's divided into 5 parts. The first is about hobbits in general, their origins and their history, including how they live (with its good and bad points) at the time of both stories.
One thing that's always stood out to me is the classification of Hobbits into Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides.
Why do Hobbits, being fundamentally Men, have characteristics of and respective affinity for the other 'Speaking Peoples' as well? Did that contribute to their innate peaceable nature and ability to live unobtrusively amid ME's other denizens?
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Old 07-19-2018, 06:22 AM   #126
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Pipe

After far too long (a couple years, I think), I'm rereading The Lord of the Rings (though, of course, having read it so much in my formative years, it's not as if I've forgotten it!) and having both the time and the inclination to share what stuck in my mind, where better to come than this trusty old thread!

I had two main thoughts:



- Mathoms. A useful word--an even more useful concept. (I might actually start a thread about this from a more general perspective, but let's at least document the origin of this thought here). I definitely have some ramblings in mind about how Tolkien shaped the architecture of my thoughts. This is one of those cases where fiction provides a word to fill a hole. A lot of the time we borrow words from other languages--think of German words like schadenfreude or weltanshauung that we've borrowed because it gives us a word that our language didn't posses before? It's also fascinating to me when fiction fills a void in the same way. Granted, "mathom" may not be part of an ordinary person's lexicon... but is "weltanshauung?"



- The Elf-towers of the Far Downs. These kind of fascinate me because they loom on the borders of Hobbit knowledge, but with our broader knowledge of Middle-earth they're still kind of mysterious. I believe we know (though I can't cite where off the top of my head--I suspect Unfinished Tales) that the central, farthest-west Tower was built to house the palantír for Elendil--and that Elendil waited here for the hosts of Gil-galad to join him during the Last Alliance.

But why three towers? Artistically (which could be both an in-universe and a literary reason), it does seem better, but what is the function? As a border, the Far Downs only seem to have ever likely needed fortifying with watch-towers--especially by the Elves, who are the explicit builders--during the Second Age. But if the westernmost tower was built for Elendil, were these towers for the defence of Lindon at all? Perhaps the two other towers are actually far older than the palantír's tower, dating back Sauron's war with Eregion or its aftermath. In any event, fun to speculate over.
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:37 PM   #127
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But why three towers? Artistically (which could be both an in-universe and a literary reason), it does seem better, but what is the function? As a border, the Far Downs only seem to have ever likely needed fortifying with watch-towers--especially by the Elves, who are the explicit builders--during the Second Age. But if the westernmost tower was built for Elendil, were these towers for the defence of Lindon at all? Perhaps the two other towers are actually far older than the palantír's tower, dating back Sauron's war with Eregion or its aftermath. In any event, fun to speculate over.
I am working from memory as well, but I tend to agree with your theory.

Having watch-towers on the eponymous Tower Hills, a bit east of the Grey Havens, would seem sensible during the mid-Second Age war of the Eldar and Sauron. No other obvious reason for building comes to mind. To have been of any use in potentially observing sea and sky for sailing purposes, they could have been nearer the water.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:11 AM   #128
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It's a nice thought, but Tolkien disagrees. From Of the Rings of Power...

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At Fornost upon the North Downs also the Númenóreans dwelt, and in Cardolan, and in the hills of Rhudaur; and towers they raised upon Emyn Beraid and upon Amon Sûl; and there remain many barrows and ruined works in those places, but the towers of Emyn Beraid still look towards the sea.

[...]

It is said that the towers of Emyn Beraid were not built indeed by the Exiles of Númenor, but were raised by Gil-galad for Elendil, his friend; and the Seeing Stone of Emyn Beraid was set in Elostirion, the tallest of the towers.
Curiously, that doesn't answer the purpose. The White Towers seem to have marked the western limits of Arnor, but if they were watchtowers then they were watching the people who built them! We know that one of the three was set up for the Stone, but what about the others?

I've found a possible answer over in Unfinished Tales, with a note to Aldarion and Erendis discussing the return of Numenoreans to Middle-earth:

Quote:
"It was six hundred years after the departure of the survivors of the Atani [Edain] over the sea to Númenor that a ship first came again out of the West to Middle-earth and passed up the Gulf of Lhûn. Its captain and mariners were welcomed by Gil-galad; and thus was begun the friendship and alliance of Númenor with the Eldar of Lindon. The news spread swiftly and Men in Eriador were filled with wonder. Although in the First Age they had dwelt in the East, rumours of the terrible war 'beyond the Western Mountains' [i.e. Ered Luin] had reached them; but their traditions preserved no clear account of it, and they believed that all the Men who dwelt in the lands beyond had been destroyed or drowned in great tumults of fire and inrushing seas. But since it was still said among them that those Men had in years beyond memory been kinsmen of their own, they sent messages to Gil-galad asking leave to meet the shipmen 'who had returned from death in the deeps of the Sea.' Thus it came about that there was a meeting between them on the Tower Hills; and to that meeting with the Númenóreans came twelve Men only out of Eriador, Men of high heart and courage, for most of their people feared that the newcomers were perilous spirits of the Dead. But when they looked on the shipmen fear left them, though for a while they stood silent in awe; for mighty as they were themselves accounted among their kin, the shipmen resembled rather Elvish lords than mortal Men in bearing and apparel. Nonetheless they felt no doubt of their ancient kinship; and likewise the shipmen looked with glad surprise upon the Men of Middle-earth, for it had been believed in Númenor that the Men left behind were descended from the evil Men who in the last days of the war against Morgoth had been summoned by him out of the East. But now they looked upon faces free from the Shadow and Men who could have walked in Númenor and not been thought aliens save in their clothes and their arms. Then suddenly, after the silence, both the Númenóreans and the Men of Eriador spoke words of welcome and greeting in their own tongues, as if addressing friends and kinsmen after a long parting. At first they were disappointed, for neither side could understand the other; but when they mingled in friendship they found that they shared very many words still clearly recognisable, and others that could be understood with attention, and they were able to converse haltingly about simple matters." Elsewhere in this essay it is explained that these Men dwelt about Lake Evendim, in the North Downs and the Weather Hills, and in the lands between as far as the Brandywine, west of which they often wandered though they did not dwell there.
The Tower Hills were a site of reunification; could it be that the Towers were raised partly in memory of that? If we think of Faramir's words at Henneth Annun - that before a meal they look west 'to Numenor that was, and Elvenhome that is, and that which is beyond Elvenhome and shall ever be' - then perhaps we can apply the same idea: three towers, one for the Men of the North, one for the Men of Numenor, and one for the Elves and Eressea. They would be monuments and places of thanksgiving and remembrance.

In fact, as the westernmost point in Arnor, they were also symbolically the closest point to the Hallows on the Meneltarma. If you think of the Jewish tradition of prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, as the closest point to the temple, I can easily imagine the towers as the original way to look back on 'Numenor that was'.

(It might be interesting to compare this hypothesis with the Gondorian version, where they made a new hallows on their local highest mountain. Arnor looks west and to the past, Gondor faces east and south and thinks of the future... but that's getting a bit off topic. )

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Old 07-20-2018, 04:18 PM   #129
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Tolkien

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It's a nice thought, but Tolkien disagrees. From Of the Rings of Power...
Alas! I have been tripped up. I think your second quote, from "Aldarion and Erendis" is probably at the heart of some of my foiled hunch.

Your speculation, Huinesoron is rather fascinating: the idea that the towers are not martial in purpose certainly removes the necessity of finding a military purpose for them, which makes their location somewhat easier.

And non-military towers away from a populated spot are not without precedent in Númenórean history--I'm specifically thinking of Tar-Meneldur's astronomy tower in the Forostar of Númenor. Certainly the comparison to the Elf-towers in the context of the palantír has some merit.

The connection to the meeting of the Númenóreans and the Men of Eriador as an explanation for there being three towers is far more speculative, as you no doubt know, and I disincline away from it myself, simply on grounds of chronology--more than two millennia pass between the meeting of those peoples and the time of Elendil.

Actually, a couple things occur to me: first, what if these towers ARE astronomy towers? We know that the Númenóreans had considerably advanced knowledge relative to the medieval-esque cultures we know better from the end of the Third Age. Could multiple oservation towers have allowed the royal astronomers to triangulate things? This was right after the reshaping of the world, and it seems to me that there would have been plenty of curiosity in the new Arnor to map the new cosmology--and perhaps it was originally in onnection with this that Elendil placed one of the palantíri there.



Something about the Prologue that struck me marinating over it since I posted last is how it almost works best with the rest of The Lord of the Rings in the explicit context of rereading.

It's a little bit weird, because the Prologue *is* an introduction: it sets up the world a bit and in the first few chapters there are lines (such as the reader being expected to know what a Stoor is in "The Shadow of the Past") that assume the reader has read the Prologue.

But, on the other side, the Prologue talks about Frodo and Merry and Pippin all contributing to the Red Book and talking about the Red Book's textual tradition (including references to Gondor and the King) that only make sense after you've read The Lord of the Rings. It's an explicit reward for the re-reader--and if you're someone who makes a big deal out of spoiler alerts, not at all safe for the first time reader.

I'm not a spoiler alert kind of person (for various academic experiences that would be navel-gazing to go into here), but it is still Appendix-y enough that I would not recommend a first-time reader begin with the Prologue. Indeed, the nuggets of information we get about the surviving members of the Fellowship feel like parts of the Tale of the Years.

That said, I'm pretty sure I read the Prologue in its proper place the first time I read the book, and I don't think I ended spoiled at all, because I'd forgotten most of the "spoilers" by the time I encountered the characters they referred to--I'm pretty sure we see the name "Aragorn" referring to Strider nearly half a dozen times before Bree, but I never put two-and-two together until at least the second read-through.

Which is perhaps my point: the Prologue is the tape on the moebius strip where the Appendices loop back into "A Long-Awaited Party."
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:21 PM   #130
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Something that really stuck out this time going through the prologue (and there was some earlier posts on it), is "The Authorities":

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The Authorities, it is true, differ whether this last question was a mere 'question' and not a 'riddle' according to the strict rules of the Game; but all agree that, after accepting it and trying to guess the answer, Gollum was bound by his promise. And Bilbo pressed him to keep his word; for the thought came to him that this slimy creature might prove false, even though such promises were held sacred, and of old all but the wickedest things feared to break them.
Which begs the question who are the Authorities? There's perhaps a few layers to this because it's such an odd word to use.

If Tolkien wanted to give an answer of who the Authorities are within his story, he could have used the Valar, right? Or with it being the Prologue, if the Valar were in place of the Authorities, there would likely be more head-scratching by the first time readers. Then again, I get this image of the Valar sitting around in a council debating on the rules of a Riddle Game and it's not really an image that meshes with the Valar's laissez faire attitudes in the Third Age of Middle-earth.

As the Prologue connects The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings, I imagine an answer that is outside the story. The Hobbit being written primarily for Tolkien's children, I'm picturing "the Authorities" being Tolkien's original audience. And Tolkien asking his children about the rules of "the Game" between Bilbo and Gollum. The Authorities differed because Bilbo's "What have I got in my pocket?" technically isn't a riddle, but all agreed Gollum was going to break his promise and therefor it really didn't matter if Bilbo asked what he did or came up with a true riddle that followed the "strict rules of the Game." I can picture Tolkien's inspiration for the "Riddles in the Dark" chapter, coming from having "Riddle games" with his children, and they are "the Authorities" mysteriously referenced in the Prologue.

Neither interpretation is the wholly true and right interpretation, but it's fascinating thinking of the possible answers to the question: Who are the Authorities?
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