Monday, December 16, 2002

Oh, dear....
Tolkien mentions are multiplying in the Blogosphere. For example there's this post , and this one which actually links to my blog as well. I should be happy about this, and I am. But there is one thing in these two posts which makes me less than thrilled...messed up Tolkienean spelling.
The first says "For you Tolkien fans, this is like worshiping a Valor instead of Illuvatar who created them! " The group of beings referred to are, collectively, the Valar, not the Valor. The singular form is "Vala". The Elven name for God is Ilúvatar, "All-father".
The second commits the granddaddy of all Tolkienean errors....'Tolkein'. This one was a problem for the Professor himself in his lifetime.
"My name is TOLKIEN (not -kein). It is a German name (from Saxony), an anglicization of Tollkiehn, i.e. tollkühn. But, except as a guide to spelling, this fact is as fallacious as all facts are in the raw. For I am neither 'foolhardy' (ed. the meaning of tollkühn) nor German, whatever some remote ancestors may have been. They migrated to England more than 200 years ago...." - J.R.R. Tolkien to his American publisher, 1955
"My surname is now usually misspelt TOLKEIN in spite of all my efforts to correct this-even by my college-, bank-, and lawyer's clerks !" - J.R.R. Tolkien to Graham Tayar, June 5, 1971
(Both quotes are from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien ed. Humphrey Carpenter.)
I know, I'm turning into the Nihil Obstat of Arda here......


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