Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 15 - The Gathering of the Clouds

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AC

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Dec 12, 2003, 3:44:44 PM12/12/03
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Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds

To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a chapter of
your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

I. Synopsis
-----------
While great and terrible deeds ensue in Esgaroth, Thorin and Co., still
fearing the return of the dragon, remain in the guard house. Here they
again encounter the thrush which tries to tell them of the news, but as no
one can understand him, calls upon one Roac son of Caroc, of the race of
ravens that were friendly to the Dwarves. Caroc was a well-known and
respected raven among the folk of the Mountain, and it seems that these
ravens are able to talk.

Roac gives Thorin the tidings of Smaug's fall, which is cause for great joy
among the Dwaves. However, he also tells them that a host of Elves is on
its way to the Mountain, along with carrion birds looking forward to a
slaughter. As well, Roac tells the Dwarves that the Lakemen are looking for
compensation for their loss. Finally, Roac tells Thorin not to trust the
Master of Laketown, but rather to deal with Bard, descendant of Girion of
Dale, who shot the dragon.

Thorin, naturally, is greatly angered by this news. He asks Roac to send
out birds to his kin, and especially to Dain in the Iron Mountains. Roac
promises to do what he can, and then the Dwarves hightail it back to the
Mountain.

In an impressive demonstration of Dwarvish skill, they barricade the Front
Gate with a wall of squared stones and rechannel the gate stream so that it
forms a wide pool. All the while, the ravens bring back tidings, and even
guide them to the lost ponies, thus giving them much-needed supplies.

Finally, the great company of Lakemen and Elves arrive. A few, including
Elvish bowmen, are sent up, but will not speak with Thorin. Later there is
much singing in the camp of Elves and Men, and a bit of a musical duel
ensues, with the Dwarves singing what Bilbo considers an overly war-like
song.

Th e next morning, another company comes from the camp, lead by Bard. Bard
attempts to parley with Thorin, to try to prove to him that it is only just
that the Dwarves give of their newly won treasure to aid the people of
Esgaroth, particularly since the Dwarves were so instrumental in that
devestation. Naturally, Thorin refuses, and demands that the Elves be sent
away, and that any further discussion only occur once weapons have been put
down. Bard departs, asking Thorin to take the wise path.

A little later banner-beares and trumpeters return and deliver Bard's
demand; one-twelfth of the treasure of the Mountain, out of which Bard will
see to the needs of Esgaroth. They also suggest that Thorin give of his own
hand, to show his goodwill. Thorin really loses it now, and as answer fires
an arrow the speaker, which hits his shield. The speaker announces that the
Mountain is besieged. The Dwarves generally share Thorin's mood, but Bilbo
is quite obviously unhappy.

II. Points of Interest
----------------------
1. We see another example of speaking animals. This time, it is the ravens
of the Lonely Mountain, who are capable of speach! Any thoughts on the
nature of this amazing ability?

2. We see an example of the skill of Dwarves. If, in a few short days, a
large wall can be constructed and a stream fashioned into a large pool, and
by just thirteen Dwarves, imagine what hundreds or thousands could do.

3. "But also he [Bilbo] did not reckon with the power that gold has upon
which a dragon has long brooded..." It's pretty clear that some Dragon's
curse is upon the gold. A reflection of the tale of the Nauglamir, perhaps?

If anyone has any other points, please contribute! I'm out of time, as it
is my lunchbreak. And please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. I
did this in a rather big hurry.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao_of_cow/\alberni.net (replace /\ with @)

Steuard Jensen

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Dec 12, 2003, 6:12:31 PM12/12/03
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Hello all! Michelle Haines just emailed me to ask that I post her
Chapter 15 synopsis for her: as you know, she's in the process of
moving, so she's been out of touch for a little while. So yeah, two
competing chapter summaries this time; perhaps that will lead to an
especially vibrant discussion. :) Her message follows.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Michelle Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com>
To: ste...@slimy.com
Subject: Chapter Fifteen synopsis

I'm supposed to post the Chapter 15 synopsis, but my computer hasn't been
moved yet (and I only unearthed my copy of The Hobbit last night!). So,
I'm emailing it to you for posting to the newsgroup, if you don't mind.

After the dramatic death of the dragon, we come back to the Dwarves and
Bilbo kicking their heels at the Mountain. Flocks of all kids of birds
are gathering, so they have an indication that something is coming, but
they have no idea what.

Balin, apparently, speaks Bird fluently -- or, at least, Crow and Raven.
He has trouble with Thrush, so asks for help from Bilbo, who covers his
ignorance by saying he can't quite make it out. Personally, I might have
made a snarky comment about him wondering why I can speak a birdie
language when I don't have feathers or a beak. I'm also reminded of the
whale talking scene in Finding Nemo, "That doesn't sound like whale, it
sounds like upset stomach!" But I digress.

At any rate, during the conversation of the Dwarves and Bilbo, the thrush
discerns they're familiar with the father of the current chief of the
ravens, so flies off to bring him over. This particular raven is 153
years old and speak English! That's some bird.

At any rate, the old guy gives them the news that the dragon is dead,
Laketown is destroyed, and the Elves and Men are on their way to claim
some of the treasure. Thorin is less than please at the news, so the
Dwarves set to work building a wall around the Front Gate.

The Elves and Men reach Dale during one evening, but no one approaches
until the next morning. A force comes up, looks the place over, but when
Thorin speaks to them they hurry off without saying a word in return. How
rude. The camp is moved to a different place in the arms of the Mountain,
and there's no more conversation until the next day.

Bard comes up with a host of spearmen and asks to speak with Thorin. He
lays out his case pretty plainly -- He killed the dragon while he was
attacking the town, which is devastated. Some of the treasure rightfully
belongs to him anyway, since it was from Dale rather than originally
belonging to the Dwarves. He also points out that the men of Laketown
assisted the Dwarves, which is why their town was destroyed in the first
place.

Thorin is not in a good mood. He dismisses the third claim entirely,
saying he doesn't owe anyone anything for the deeds of the dragon. He
grudgingly agrees that they should pay the price of the goods they were
given, but when he feels like it. He ignores both the claim Bard has by
killing the dragon, and the fact that some of the treasure rightfully
belongs to him in the first place. He's somewhat justified in his point
that standing outside the gates with spears isn't exactly a peaceful
gesture either, but doesn't really suggest a reasonable treaty sight
either. He tells Bard to go away before Thorin decides to shoot him.
Nice guy, Thorin.

Heralds come up, blow a horn, and state the demands are 1/12 part of the
treasure or be declared the foes of the Men and Elves that are there.
Thorin shoots an arrow at the herald by way of answer.

All the Dwarves support Thorin, although Fili, Kili, and Bombur
disapprove somewhat. Bilbo, of course, is entirely disgruntled.

This is a pretty straight-forward chapter, so there's not much in the way
of questions. Here's a few:

Is it a common Dwarf ability to speak to birds?

Why are all the clouds of finches and thrushes gathering? The carrion
birds might make sense, but it just seems odd for the rest of them to be
there.

Bard's claims seem entirely justified, but Thorin refuses to consider
them at all. It seems he's been brooding over his lost treasure so long
that any way he regained it is justifiable, and he's not turning ov er so
much as a penny to anyone until he's good and ready. You'd think he could
have at least said "Thank you." to Bard for killing the dragon!

That's all I have to add at the moment.

Michelle
Flutist

AC

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Dec 13, 2003, 11:29:13 AM12/13/03
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 23:12:31 GMT,
Steuard Jensen <sbje...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote:
>
> Hello all! Michelle Haines just emailed me to ask that I post her
> Chapter 15 synopsis for her: as you know, she's in the process of
> moving, so she's been out of touch for a little while. So yeah, two
> competing chapter summaries this time; perhaps that will lead to an
> especially vibrant discussion. :) Her message follows.

Sorry for jumping the gun.

<snip>

> Is it a common Dwarf ability to speak to birds?

I think it was more likey the ravens' ability to speak to Dwarves.

>
> Why are all the clouds of finches and thrushes gathering? The carrion
> birds might make sense, but it just seems odd for the rest of them to be
> there.

Spectators?

>
> Bard's claims seem entirely justified, but Thorin refuses to consider
> them at all. It seems he's been brooding over his lost treasure so long
> that any way he regained it is justifiable, and he's not turning ov er so
> much as a penny to anyone until he's good and ready. You'd think he could
> have at least said "Thank you." to Bard for killing the dragon!

Thorin definitely needs to grow. In a way, however, I can see Thorin's
point as well. The Elves had treated him badly, and further humiliation by
the Elf King didn't seem right. As well, having an army at your doorstep,
while there are just thirteen Dwarves and one Hobbit doesn't exactly seem
like parleying to me.

Henriette

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Dec 13, 2003, 3:48:23 PM12/13/03
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtka5k.37s....@alder.alberni.net>...

> Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds
>

> (snip) As well, Roac tells the Dwarves that the Lakemen are looking for


> compensation for their loss. Finally, Roac tells Thorin not to trust the
> Master of Laketown, but rather to deal with Bard, descendant of Girion of
> Dale, who shot the dragon.
>
> Thorin, naturally, is greatly angered by this news.

Do you mean that, "naturally", AC? You probably do, because you repeat
it later in the summary:

> (snip) Bard


> attempts to parley with Thorin, to try to prove to him that it is only just
> that the Dwarves give of their newly won treasure to aid the people of
> Esgaroth, particularly since the Dwarves were so instrumental in that
> devestation. Naturally, Thorin refuses, and demands that the Elves be sent

Or maybe you mean: it is natural, knowing Thorin? Or do you mean,
naturally Thorin refuses these absurd demands? Anyway, I am on Bard's
side and think it is only natural Thorin should pay.

> 1. We see another example of speaking animals. This time, it is the ravens
> of the Lonely Mountain, who are capable of speach! Any thoughts on the
> nature of this amazing ability?

Maybe it is more amazing that so very few people understand them.
(ducks)


>
> 3. "But also he [Bilbo] did not reckon with the power that gold has upon
> which a dragon has long brooded..." It's pretty clear that some Dragon's
> curse is upon the gold. A reflection of the tale of the Nauglamir, perhaps?

That is an interesting conclusion, that our Professor is referring to
a curse. Actually I had been thinking thus far, that JRRT had been
writing "upon which a dragon has long brooded" with a wink to the
reader. Yet you may be right!


>
> If anyone has any other points, please contribute! I'm out of time, as it
> is my lunchbreak. And please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. I
> did this in a rather big hurry.

Thank you AC, for keeping up the good work! I just saw Michelle has
also posted a chapter, well, better 2 than none.

I do have two more points. One is the unusual and
not-very-English-sounding name of Roäc. Does anyone have any
associations with this name or any knowledge about where it may come
from?

The other point is that the somewhat oldfashioned speaking Roäc says
"a hundred years and three and fifty". To my everlasting amazement
both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty instead of the
more logical fifty three. We have discussed this on AFT before, but it
did not come up if maybe there has been a time in English history,
when it was also normal to say three and fifty.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 13, 2003, 3:58:00 PM12/13/03
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> From: Michelle Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com>
(snip)

>
> Balin, apparently, speaks Bird fluently -- or, at least, Crow and Raven.
> He has trouble with Thrush,

LOL
>
Nice summary Michelle, thank you!


>
> Bard's claims seem entirely justified, but Thorin refuses to consider
> them at all. It seems he's been brooding over his lost treasure so long
> that any way he regained it is justifiable, and he's not turning ov er so
> much as a penny to anyone until he's good and ready. You'd think he could
> have at least said "Thank you." to Bard for killing the dragon!
>

Yes. Thorin's behaviour does not comply at all with my feelings about
what Justice is either!

Good luck in your new house!

Henriette

Hasmonean Tazmanian

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Dec 13, 2003, 4:32:31 PM12/13/03
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Henriette wrote:
>>From: Michelle Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com>
>
> (snip)
>
>>
>>Balin, apparently, speaks Bird fluently -- or, at least, Crow and Raven.
>>He has trouble with Thrush,
>
>
> LOL
>
> Nice summary Michelle, thank you!
>
>>Bard's claims seem entirely justified, but Thorin refuses to consider
>>them at all. It seems he's been brooding over his lost treasure so long
>>that any way he regained it is justifiable, and he's not turning ov er so
>>much as a penny to anyone until he's good and ready. You'd think he could
>>have at least said "Thank you." to Bard for killing the dragon!
>>
>

It's the old "I won't be forced to negotiate, until the violence stops"
line. Thorin was being arrogant.

Hasan

Odysseus

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Dec 13, 2003, 5:52:56 PM12/13/03
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Henriette wrote:
>
> The other point is that the somewhat oldfashioned speaking Roäc says
> "a hundred years and three and fifty". To my everlasting amazement
> both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty instead of the
> more logical fifty three. We have discussed this on AFT before, but it
> did not come up if maybe there has been a time in English history,
> when it was also normal to say three and fifty.
>
"Sing a song of sixpence / A pocketful of rye / Four and twenty
blackbirds / Baked in a pie ..." -- traditional nursery rhyme

--
Odysseus

Emma Pease

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Dec 13, 2003, 5:57:48 PM12/13/03
to
In article <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>, Henriette wrote:
> AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
> news:<slrnbtka5k.37s....@alder.alberni.net>...
>
>> Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds

[snip]


> The other point is that the somewhat oldfashioned speaking Roäc says
> "a hundred years and three and fifty". To my everlasting amazement
> both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty instead of the
> more logical fifty three. We have discussed this on AFT before, but it
> did not come up if maybe there has been a time in English history,
> when it was also normal to say three and fifty.

four-and-twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.

For that matter fourteen can be seen as a shortening of four-and-ten

Linkname: Re: Number names, 11 - 19
URL: http://www.linguistlist.org/~ask-ling/archive-1999.1/msg00074.html

The King James translation of the Bible also has a few examples, e.g.,

2Sam.21
[20] And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great
stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six
toes, FOUR AND TWENTY in number; and he also was born to the giant.


--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht

Pete Gray

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Dec 13, 2003, 6:16:38 PM12/13/03
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On 13 Dec 2003 12:48:23 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:


>I do have two more points. One is the unusual and
>not-very-English-sounding name of Roäc. Does anyone have any
>associations with this name or any knowledge about where it may come
>from?
>

I suspect the names are meant to resemble the sound a raven makes
(both Roac and Carc)

>The other point is that the somewhat oldfashioned speaking Roäc says
>"a hundred years and three and fifty". To my everlasting amazement
>both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty instead of the
>more logical fifty three. We have discussed this on AFT before, but it
>did not come up if maybe there has been a time in English history,
>when it was also normal to say three and fifty.
>

It certainly would sound somewhat archaic in everyday speech, but is
not unheard of, for example in the nursery rhyme:

'Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie'

It's also found in the King James bible. According to this page:
<http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/lab/nlp/polylex/polynode16.html> the
change from 'units and tens' to 'tens-units' began around 1500,
influenced by French usage.


--
Pete Gray
while ($cat!="home"){$mice=="play";}

Bill O'Meally

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Dec 13, 2003, 7:14:57 PM12/13/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com...

> > 1. We see another example of speaking animals. This time, it is the


ravens
> > of the Lonely Mountain, who are capable of speach! Any thoughts on
the
> > nature of this amazing ability?
>
> Maybe it is more amazing that so very few people understand them.
> (ducks)

No mention of waterfowl in this chapter, just ravens, crows and the
thrush. <g>

--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--


AC

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Dec 13, 2003, 8:11:56 PM12/13/03
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On 13 Dec 2003 12:48:23 -0800,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtka5k.37s....@alder.alberni.net>...
>
>> Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds
>>
>> (snip) As well, Roac tells the Dwarves that the Lakemen are looking for
>> compensation for their loss. Finally, Roac tells Thorin not to trust the
>> Master of Laketown, but rather to deal with Bard, descendant of Girion of
>> Dale, who shot the dragon.
>>
>> Thorin, naturally, is greatly angered by this news.
>
> Do you mean that, "naturally", AC? You probably do, because you repeat
> it later in the summary:
>
>> (snip) Bard
>> attempts to parley with Thorin, to try to prove to him that it is only just
>> that the Dwarves give of their newly won treasure to aid the people of
>> Esgaroth, particularly since the Dwarves were so instrumental in that
>> devestation. Naturally, Thorin refuses, and demands that the Elves be sent
>
> Or maybe you mean: it is natural, knowing Thorin? Or do you mean,
> naturally Thorin refuses these absurd demands? Anyway, I am on Bard's
> side and think it is only natural Thorin should pay.

Sorry. I meant naturally, knowing Thorin. Thorin's attitude certainly
wasn't reasonable, though I couldn't imagine him behaving any other way.

Stan Brown

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Dec 13, 2003, 8:22:21 PM12/13/03
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In article <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette wrote:
>To my everlasting amazement
>both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty instead of the
>more logical fifty three.

Why on earth do you think "three and fifty" is any less logical than
"fifty three"?

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech/faqget.htm

Henriette

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Dec 14, 2003, 6:05:02 AM12/14/03
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Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a45855ad...@news.odyssey.net>...

>
> Why on earth do you think "three and fifty" is any less logical than
> "fifty three"?
>
Why would you start a question with: "Why on earth", if something does
not make sense to you at first sight?

It is logical to me to start with the most important things first. In
mathematics we are talking quantity, not quality. So tens before
units.

It is also very unpractical when writing. I once had a temporary job
in which I had to type numbers which were said to me throught the
phone in Dutch and in English. When they were said in English, I could
type while they talked. When they were said in Dutch, I had to wait
until the speaker was finished to know the last digit, hoping
meanwhile I remembered the other ones.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 14, 2003, 6:13:01 AM12/14/03
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtne6r.1tg....@alder.alberni.net>...

>
> Thorin's attitude certainly
> wasn't reasonable, though I couldn't imagine him behaving any other way.

It did surprise me, though. Because apart from the Dwarves' general
greediness, Thorin also has an atmosphere of grandeur, of nobility and
royalty surrounding him, which made me think he would behave
accordingly and not like Scrooge.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 14, 2003, 6:20:03 AM12/14/03
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Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<1j6ntv87refk0gh5i...@4ax.com>...

> On 13 Dec 2003 12:48:23 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >not-very-English-sounding name of Roäc. Does anyone have any
> >associations with this name or any knowledge about where it may come
> >from?
>
> I suspect the names are meant to resemble the sound a raven makes
> (both Roac and Carc)
>
Yes. That must be the solution. Isn't that funny? Thank you!
> (snip)
> It's also found in the King James bible. According to this page:
> <http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/lab/nlp/polylex/polynode16.html> the
> change from 'units and tens' to 'tens-units' began around 1500,
> influenced by French usage.

Thank you and everyone who reacted to my numbers question. What you
write here, is something I have always been curious about. So actually
the practicality comes from the Roman languages and the British
peoples were clever enough to adopt the habit.

Henriette

Een Wilde Ier

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Dec 14, 2003, 9:39:25 AM12/14/03
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Henriette wrote:

I think "arrogance" is a good word to describe how Thorin combines those
qualities and failings. What do you think?

Stan Brown

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Dec 14, 2003, 9:42:59 AM12/14/03
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In article <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette wrote:
>Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>> Why on earth do you think "three and fifty" is any less logical than
>> "fifty three"?
>>
>Why would you start a question with: "Why on earth", if something does
>not make sense to you at first sight?

That _is_ why. "Why on earth" expresses quite a lot of surprise as
compared with a simple "why". I was surprised at your claim that
your _preference_ is a matter of logic.

>It is logical to me to start with the most important things first.

Oh, I understand now. That must mean that you write

-- all your dates with the year first, then the month, and
finally the day.[1]

-- locations with the country name first, then the state,
then the city, then the street, and then the number.

-- personal names family name first, then given name.

> In mathematics we are talking quantity, not quality. So tens before
>units.

This is language, not mathematics. There is no "logic" in language;
it's all custom. You might as well say that Scandinavians are
"illogical" because they don't capitalize the first person singular
pronoun -- and they could say we're "illogical" because we don't
capitalize the second person plural.

Please understand, I am not denying your right to prefer whatever
you may prefer. Just don't mislabel your preference as a matter of
logic.

[1] Actually this is an ISO standard. If everyone did it, people
would not have to figure out whether 2/11/03 was Feb 11, Nov 2, or
something else. Markus Kuhn has a good summary at
<http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-time.html>.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com

Modern cyberspace is a deadly festering swamp, teeming with
dangerous programs such as "viruses," "worms," "Trojan horses,"
and "licensed Microsoft software" that can take over your
computer and render it useless. --Dave Barry

Aris Katsaris

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Dec 14, 2003, 12:06:53 PM12/14/03
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"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a4640fef...@news.odyssey.net...

> In article <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette wrote:
> >Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> >> Why on earth do you think "three and fifty" is any less logical than
> >> "fifty three"?
> >>
> >Why would you start a question with: "Why on earth", if something does
> >not make sense to you at first sight?
>
> That _is_ why. "Why on earth" expresses quite a lot of surprise as
> compared with a simple "why". I was surprised at your claim that
> your _preference_ is a matter of logic.
>
> >It is logical to me to start with the most important things first.
>
> Oh, I understand now. That must mean that you write
>
> -- all your dates with the year first, then the month, and
> finally the day.[1]

In that case it's the opposite for me because day/month/year,
provides the actual bit of rapidly changing information, while
the other two can remain more constant, and need only be
added if there's a problem of ambiguity.

Thus, I can arrange with my friends to go somewhere on the 21st,
and if there's a problem of ambiguity you write 21/12, and if there's
a further problem of ambiguity you write 21/12/2003.

> -- locations with the country name first, then the state,
> then the city, then the street, and then the number.

Again doesn't apply, when people live in the same city, same way
that they exist within the same month -- in that case the crucial bit
of information is the one that *cannot* be understood from context.

> -- personal names family name first, then given name.

*g* That's how I write it on official documents. Day-to-day interaction
are different ofcourse, and naming conventions do *tend* to be a
matter of custom.

> > In mathematics we are talking quantity, not quality. So tens before
> >units.
>
> This is language, not mathematics. There is no "logic" in language;
> it's all custom.

Some languages are more illogical in some respects than others...
e.g. Esperanto and Ido are profoundly logical languages because
they were created to be so.

> Please understand, I am not denying your right to prefer whatever
> you may prefer. Just don't mislabel your preference as a matter of
> logic.

But sometimes preference *is* a matter of logic and sometimes one
*does* prefer something because it's more logical :-)

Aris Katsaris


Yuk Tang

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Dec 14, 2003, 12:23:43 PM12/14/03
to
"Aris Katsaris" <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in
news:bri5o1$mts$1...@ulysses.noc.ntua.gr:
>
> Thus, I can arrange with my friends to go somewhere on the 21st,
> and if there's a problem of ambiguity you write 21/12, and if
> there's a further problem of ambiguity you write 21/12/2003.

And in English, to avoid any ambiguity I write 21st Dec(ember) (20)03.


--
Cheers, ymt.
Email to: jim dot laker one at btopenworld dot com

Een Wilde Ier

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Dec 14, 2003, 12:27:36 PM12/14/03
to
Yuk Tang wrote:

> "Aris Katsaris" <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in
> news:bri5o1$mts$1...@ulysses.noc.ntua.gr:
>
>>Thus, I can arrange with my friends to go somewhere on the 21st,
>>and if there's a problem of ambiguity you write 21/12, and if
>>there's a further problem of ambiguity you write 21/12/2003.
>
>
> And in English, to avoid any ambiguity I write 21st Dec(ember) (20)03.

I personally make a point of writing out the full date (both in work and
when doing stuff for college etc.) to avoid any of the inevitable
ambiguity or confusion which will otherwise occur.

Numbering files (letters, drawings etc.) I write the year first, then
the month and then the date.

AC

unread,
Dec 14, 2003, 12:35:35 PM12/14/03
to
On 14 Dec 2003 03:13:01 -0800,

Like I said, I'm not entirely against how Thorin acted. The other side
brought along a pretty good force, including Wood Elves who had very
recently imprisoned Thorin and Co., treating them badly (worse, for
instance, then how they treated Gollum a number of years later). It seems
to me that Bard was trying to overawe Thorin, and perhaps if Bard had been
just the tiniest bit wiser, he might have tried a more tactful, less overtly
threatening form of diplomacy.

"Oh yeah, I just want to parley. Me and this big army behind me."

Henriette

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Dec 14, 2003, 1:09:27 PM12/14/03
to
"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message news:<5YNCb.128370$Vu6....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> >
> > Maybe it is more amazing that so very few people understand them.
> > (ducks)
>
> No mention of waterfowl in this chapter, just ravens, crows and the
> thrush. <g>

:-)

Henriette

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Dec 14, 2003, 12:57:23 PM12/14/03
to

[aren't these threads supposed to be cross-posted?]

On 12 Dec 2003 AC wrote:

[snip]


>
> 1. We see another example of speaking animals. This time, it is the ravens

> of the Lonely Mountain, who are capable of speech! Any thoughts on the


> nature of this amazing ability?

Corvids, even in the 'real' world, are great mimics, as well as being
famed for their long life and intelligence, and I believe ravens can be
taught to speak after the same fashion as parrots. I assumed this
passage referred to that ability - if you were writing a fairy story
and wished to introduce a plausible interpreter between the languages
of men and beasts, a wise old raven or an ex-pet parrot would come to
mind sooner than, say, a talking elephant or cow :-)

>
> 2. We see an example of the skill of Dwarves. If, in a few short days, a
> large wall can be constructed and a stream fashioned into a large pool, and
> by just thirteen Dwarves, imagine what hundreds or thousands could do.
>
> 3. "But also he [Bilbo] did not reckon with the power that gold has upon
> which a dragon has long brooded..." It's pretty clear that some Dragon's
> curse is upon the gold. A reflection of the tale of the Nauglamir, perhaps?
>

Reminds me of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", where Eustace goes to
sleep by accident on a dragon's hoard and suffers most untoward
side-effects; although in that case we are told that the cause is that
he was already thinking dragonish thoughts, rather than that, as in
Thorin's case, the dragonish thoughts are caused by possession itself
of the hoard. Thorin's reaction to being asked to give up a little of
his suddenly-acquired wealth (which after all, he has done nothing at
all to earn - it was only Bard's action that saved his life, else they
would have all died of thirst in the Mountain or been slain by the
dragon in trying to get out) reminds me strongly to Smaug's reaction to
the loss of one cup which he could not use.

> If anyone has any other points, please contribute!

The comment that Bilbo "would have given up most of his share of the
profits for the peaceful winding up of these affairs" looks like a
pretty explicit piece of foreshadowing to me :-)

Finally, the description of the Dwarves' fortification of the main
entrance reminded me of the description of Helm's Deep much later,
especially the business about the stream. I suppose natural caves tend
to have water flowing out of them, and walling off the entrance without
choking up the egress of the stream is a perpetual problem; but I did
wonder if Tolkien had seen some specific fortified cave containing this
feature somewhere, and was recalling it in both cases.
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

When men are jaded in their emotions they demand monstrous things to arouse them

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Dec 14, 2003, 1:09:23 PM12/14/03
to

> From: Michelle Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com>
> Subject: Chapter Fifteen synopsis

[snip]

> Why are all the clouds of finches and thrushes gathering? The carrion
> birds might make sense, but it just seems odd for the rest of them to be
> there.

Some of them, apparently, were passing messages to the Elven-king in
the previous chapter - "news from his own messengers and the birds that
loved his folk". But I think the idea is simply that the overthrow of
Smaug was of great significance for all living things (affected the
ecosystem, if you prefer!) and that the birds, being mobile, were
returning from far and wide to see what was going on and if it was safe
to come back. "Very great indeed was the commotion among all things with
wings that dwelt on the borders of the Desolation of the Dragon... The
birds are gathering back again to the mountain". It's interesting to
note Thorin referring casually to the phenomenon of migration: "the
time is gone for the autumn wanderings" :-)


--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

* He who loses his temper has lost the argument *

Stan Brown

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Dec 14, 2003, 11:05:27 PM12/14/03
to
In article <bri5o1$mts$1...@ulysses.noc.ntua.gr> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Aris Katsaris wrote:
>In that case it's the opposite for me because day/month/year,
>provides the actual bit of rapidly changing information, while
>the other two can remain more constant, and need only be
>added if there's a problem of ambiguity.

That was my point, Aris. Henriette claimed that "biggest first" was
a matter of _logic_, and I posted three counterexamples.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com

Stan Brown

unread,
Dec 14, 2003, 11:08:10 PM12/14/03
to
In article <2003121420101...@gacracker.org> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Igenlode Wordsmith wrote:
>Reminds me of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", where Eustace goes to
>sleep by accident on a dragon's hoard and suffers most untoward
>side-effects; although in that case we are told that the cause is that
>he was already thinking dragonish thoughts, rather than that, as in
>Thorin's case, the dragonish thoughts are caused by possession itself
>of the hoard.

This is actually a good example, but I want to go in a little bit
different direction from you.

Thorin & Co. weren't thinking "dragonish" thoughts exactly, but all
Dwarves have a greed for gold; it's part of their nature. So the
dragon-hoard would have played on their natural propensities, just
as happened to Eustace.

Compare with the lovely Japanese film /Spirited Away/. The little
girl's parents eat like pigs, and when they awake from their
postprandial nap they find they have become pigs.

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 8:43:14 AM12/15/03
to
in <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> The other point is that the somewhat oldfashioned speaking Roäc says
> "a hundred years and three and fifty". To my everlasting amazement
> both the Dutch and the Germans do say three and fifty

[...]

As if that was something ;-)

In Danish it would be "a hundred and three and half-third times twenty
years" ;-)
But then our way of numbering the tens is absurd (based on 10 up to
fourty and from then on based on twenty).

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

Stan Brown

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Dec 15, 2003, 10:07:02 AM12/15/03
to
In article <STiDb.4833$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
>In Danish it would be "a hundred and three and half-third times twenty
>years" ;-)
>But then our way of numbering the tens is absurd (based on 10 up to
>fourty and from then on based on twenty).

And "half two" on the clock means thirty minutes past one, doesn't
it? :-)

AC

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 11:24:44 AM12/15/03
to
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 23:08:10 -0500,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>
> Compare with the lovely Japanese film /Spirited Away/. The little
> girl's parents eat like pigs, and when they awake from their
> postprandial nap they find they have become pigs.

To go nearly totally off-topic here, I have to say that Spirited Away may
very well be the finest fantasy film I've ever seen.

Yuk Tang

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Dec 15, 2003, 11:54:07 AM12/15/03
to
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in
news:slrnbtro2c.234....@alder.alberni.net:
> On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 23:08:10 -0500,
> Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>>
>> Compare with the lovely Japanese film /Spirited Away/. The little
>> girl's parents eat like pigs, and when they awake from their
>> postprandial nap they find they have become pigs.
>
> To go nearly totally off-topic here, I have to say that Spirited
> Away may very well be the finest fantasy film I've ever seen.

Try reading Nausicaa by the same director/author. Completely different
thematically, but as good in its own way as the best of Tolkien. And
even if you don't like the story, the artwork is beautiful, every frame
hand-drawn by Miyazaki alone.

AC

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 12:09:06 PM12/15/03
to
On 15 Dec 2003 16:54:07 GMT,

It's been recommended to me by others on this newsgroup. I put it on my
Christmas list. Let's see if Santa's good to me :-)

(hopefully the jolly ol' elf will ignore some of my more severe outbursts
here)

Troels Forchhammer

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Dec 15, 2003, 2:27:39 PM12/15/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
>
> In article <STiDb.4833$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
>>
>> In Danish it would be "a hundred and three and half-third times twenty
>> years" ;-)
>
> And "half two" on the clock means thirty minutes past one, doesn't
> it? :-)

Yes. It's an old way of denoting half numbers using ordinals; half-third
meaning two and a half, half-seventh meaning six and a half etc.

When applied to the clock it is apt to cause quite some confusion when
Danes speak English. In 2000 my scout troop went to England for our
summercamp and we often got it an hour wrong when our hosts told us that
something would happen at "half X" ;-)

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid mail is t.forch(a)mail.dk

++?????++ Out of Cheese Error. Redo From Start.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times)

Pete Gray

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Dec 15, 2003, 5:31:52 PM12/15/03
to
On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 10:07:02 -0500, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>In article <STiDb.4833$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com> in
>rec.arts.books.tolkien, Troels Forchhammer wrote:
>>In Danish it would be "a hundred and three and half-third times twenty
>>years" ;-)
>>But then our way of numbering the tens is absurd (based on 10 up to
>>fourty and from then on based on twenty).
>
>And "half two" on the clock means thirty minutes past one, doesn't
>it? :-)

Not in German it doesn't ;-)

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 5:32:59 PM12/15/03
to

...or weak enough to be influenced. Mere creatures of fashion, even
back then.

Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 3:27:42 PM12/15/03
to
Henriette wrote:
> Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
> news:<MPG.1a45855ad...@news.odyssey.net>...
>>
>> Why on earth do you think "three and fifty" is any less logical
than
>> "fifty three"?
>>
> Why would you start a question with: "Why on earth", if something
does
> not make sense to you at first sight?
>
> It is logical to me to start with the most important things first.
In
> mathematics we are talking quantity, not quality. So tens before
> units.

Well, I agree with you. And I have done so ever since I discovered
languages that did not use the backward Danish (Dutch, German) way of
doing it. Much like I never understood why the British write the
number of the house *before* the name of the road.

--
Kristian Damm Jensen
damm (at) ofir (dot) dk


Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Dec 15, 2003, 3:37:38 PM12/15/03
to
Igenlode Wordsmith wrote:
> [aren't these threads supposed to be cross-posted?]
>
> On 12 Dec 2003 AC wrote:

> if you were writing a fairy story
> and wished to introduce a plausible interpreter between the
languages
> of men and beasts, a wise old raven or an ex-pet parrot would come
to
> mind sooner than, say, a talking elephant or cow :-)

For a second there, I thought you had written ex-parrot, and had
horrible images of a blue and yellow and very stiff parrot in my mind.

Henriette

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 1:50:40 AM12/16/03
to
Hasmonean Tazmanian <nos...@spam.com> wrote in message news:<PzLCb.50395$VEd1...@news02.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com>...

> >>From: Michelle Haines <mha...@io.nanc.com>
> >
> >>Bard's claims seem entirely justified, but Thorin refuses to consider
> >>them at all. It seems he's been brooding over his lost treasure so long
> >>that any way he regained it is justifiable, and he's not turning ov er so
> >>much as a penny to anyone until he's good and ready. You'd think he could
> >>have at least said "Thank you." to Bard for killing the dragon!
>
> It's the old "I won't be forced to negotiate, until the violence stops"
> line. Thorin was being arrogant.
>
When you put it that way, I suddenly see many parallel situations in
today's world...

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 16, 2003, 1:59:10 AM12/16/03
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<gkdstvo3o1mr665pc...@4ax.com>...

Name it as you will, you yourself probably being British! One probably
has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty hundred eight
and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her life, to be
thoroughly aware how unpractical and confusing it is.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 2:06:49 AM12/16/03
to
Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<brhsmo$3eds7$1...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> Henriette wrote:
>
> > It did surprise me, though. Because apart from the Dwarves' general
> > greediness, Thorin also has an atmosphere of grandeur, of nobility and
> > royalty surrounding him, which made me think he would behave
> > accordingly and not like Scrooge.
>
> I think "arrogance" is a good word to describe how Thorin combines those
> qualities and failings. What do you think?

Hi Wilde Ier, WB!

I'd prefer to call it unwise, a behaviour I would not want from a
king. It proves, why hereditary monarchie is nonsensical.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 16, 2003, 2:15:10 AM12/16/03
to
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtp7r7.2fk....@alder.alberni.net>...

>
> Like I said, I'm not entirely against how Thorin acted. The other side
> brought along a pretty good force, including Wood Elves who had very
> recently imprisoned Thorin and Co., treating them badly (worse, for
> instance, then how they treated Gollum a number of years later). It seems
> to me that Bard was trying to overawe Thorin, and perhaps if Bard had been
> just the tiniest bit wiser, he might have tried a more tactful, less overtly
> threatening form of diplomacy.
>
> "Oh yeah, I just want to parley. Me and this big army behind me."

I have the feeling that in the course of time JRRT had the Wood Elves
evolve into a better people.

As for Bard, no, I do not think he has to be the wiser. He is a
warrior, at least for now and besides that, he already had the great
merits of keeping up the spirits of Lake-town during the battle and
the shooting of Smaug at great personal risk. Thorin is a king. He has
to be the wiser. Also, I think the claims are very reasonable.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 16, 2003, 2:19:31 AM12/16/03
to
"Aris Katsaris" <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in message news:<bri5o1$mts$1...@ulysses.noc.ntua.gr>...

>
> But sometimes preference *is* a matter of logic and sometimes one
> *does* prefer something because it's more logical :-)
>
I could not have put it better myself! Thank you,

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 16, 2003, 2:26:10 AM12/16/03
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<kidstv8f6p7l89m9l...@4ax.com>...

It does actually, in German and Dutch.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 16, 2003, 2:30:43 AM12/16/03
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message news:<STiDb.4833$g4.1...@news2.nokia.com>...
> in <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>,

>
> In Danish it would be "a hundred and three and half-third times twenty
> years" ;-)
> But then our way of numbering the tens is absurd (based on 10 up to
> fourty and from then on based on twenty).

LOL. Yes, I almost forgot your silly lot:-) Makes me almost be at
peace with *our* counting system.

Henriette

Troels Forchhammer

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Dec 16, 2003, 4:00:18 AM12/16/03
to
in <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> One probably has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty


> hundred eight and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her
> life, to be thoroughly aware how unpractical and confusing it is.

Hear! Hear!

It is quite common to switch the digits in e.g. phone numbers (Danish
phone numbers are eight digits which are usually read as four
two-digit numbers - each of them of the "three and fifty" variety)

Having then finally learned to note these down correctly (most of the
time, anyway) we start having to use English numbering (in English
lessons in school) at which point many kids throw their hands up in
exasperation ;-)

Add to this that the long names for the tens (such as "three times
twenty" = "tre sinde tyve") is usually shortened so that only the
initial 's' of the old word for times ("sinde") is retained - sixty
becomes something like "threes" ("tres") and eighty becomes "fours"
("firs"); the potential for confusion is huge.

I would certainly prefer the English (or even better, Swedish -
thirty is simply "treti" - "three-ten") way of pronouncing the
numbers.

AC

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 10:51:51 AM12/16/03
to
On 15 Dec 2003 23:15:10 -0800,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtp7r7.2fk....@alder.alberni.net>...
>>
>> Like I said, I'm not entirely against how Thorin acted. The other side
>> brought along a pretty good force, including Wood Elves who had very
>> recently imprisoned Thorin and Co., treating them badly (worse, for
>> instance, then how they treated Gollum a number of years later). It seems
>> to me that Bard was trying to overawe Thorin, and perhaps if Bard had been
>> just the tiniest bit wiser, he might have tried a more tactful, less overtly
>> threatening form of diplomacy.
>>
>> "Oh yeah, I just want to parley. Me and this big army behind me."
>
> I have the feeling that in the course of time JRRT had the Wood Elves
> evolve into a better people.

If Bilbo's account of it is to believed (not to mention Gloin's reaction
years later at the Council to the news of how Gollum was treated), it seems
to me that the Wood Elves did mistreat Thorin and Co.

>
> As for Bard, no, I do not think he has to be the wiser. He is a
> warrior, at least for now and besides that, he already had the great
> merits of keeping up the spirits of Lake-town during the battle and
> the shooting of Smaug at great personal risk. Thorin is a king. He has
> to be the wiser. Also, I think the claims are very reasonable.

I'm not saying the claims are unreasonable. Of course they were eminently
reasonable. The folk of Lake-town had treated the Dwarves very well, and
had suffered terribly for it.

However, in the interests of tact and diplomacy, marching an army to the
Lonely Mountain, an army which included people that had been very unkind to
the Dwarves, and then speaking of a parley seemed a tad over the top and
aggressive.

Huan the hound

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 12:19:27 PM12/16/03
to
Troels Forchhammer wrote:
[snip]

> I would certainly prefer the English (or even better, Swedish -
> thirty is simply "treti" - "three-ten") way of pronouncing the
> numbers.
>

Then you'd also like Mandarin: san shi is three ten.

--
Huan, the hound of Valinor

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 1:53:26 PM12/16/03
to
On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:00:18 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

>in <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>,
>Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
>>
>
><snip>
>
>> One probably has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty
>> hundred eight and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her
>> life, to be thoroughly aware how unpractical and confusing it is.
>

You don't have thousands? Two thousand, nine hundred, eight and fifty
is not as bad.

>Hear! Hear!
>
>It is quite common to switch the digits in e.g. phone numbers (Danish
>phone numbers are eight digits which are usually read as four
>two-digit numbers - each of them of the "three and fifty" variety)
>

Ah, but we don't say telephone numbers like that -- we just give the
name of each individual digit, grouped in threes or twos, eg:

01620 828203: Oh-one six-two-oh eight-two-eight two-oh-three
0131 229 7465: Oh-one three-one two-two-nine seven-four six-five

After all why would one say a phone number, which is just a string of
digits, as if it were an actual number, representing a quantity?

>Having then finally learned to note these down correctly (most of the
>time, anyway) we start having to use English numbering (in English
>lessons in school) at which point many kids throw their hands up in
>exasperation ;-)
>
>Add to this that the long names for the tens (such as "three times
>twenty" = "tre sinde tyve") is usually shortened so that only the
>initial 's' of the old word for times ("sinde") is retained - sixty
>becomes something like "threes" ("tres") and eighty becomes "fours"
>("firs"); the potential for confusion is huge.
>

This twenty stuff is in English as well of course: three score and
ten, "Four score and seven years ago..."

>I would certainly prefer the English (or even better, Swedish -
>thirty is simply "treti" - "three-ten") way of pronouncing the
>numbers.

You will be assimilated ;-)

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 1:59:05 PM12/16/03
to

But the whole address then moves from the most specific to the most
general: Person -> house -> street -> town -> county -> country.

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 2:02:43 PM12/16/03
to

Indeed it does, and I knew that. Duh! I must have been having a
proof-reading meltdown. For reasons I can't explain I saw "half two"
and read "half one"! I need a lie down ;-)

Pete Gray

unread,
Dec 16, 2003, 2:12:08 PM12/16/03
to
On 15 Dec 2003 22:59:10 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<gkdstvo3o1mr665pc...@4ax.com>...
>> On 14 Dec 2003 03:20:03 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>> >
>> >Thank you and everyone who reacted to my numbers question. What you
>> >write here, is something I have always been curious about. So actually
>> >the practicality comes from the Roman languages and the British
>> >peoples were clever enough to adopt the habit.
>> >
>> ...or weak enough to be influenced. Mere creatures of fashion, even
>> back then.
>
>Name it as you will, you yourself probably being British! One probably

Guilty as charged.

>has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty hundred eight
>and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her life, to be
>thoroughly aware how unpractical and confusing it is.
>
>Henriette

It sounds horrid. Doesn't that make mathematics a nightmare for many?

Stan Brown

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Dec 16, 2003, 9:31:55 PM12/16/03
to
In article <slrnbtuagm.3i0....@alder.alberni.net> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, AC wrote:
>If Bilbo's account of it is to believed (not to mention Gloin's reaction
>years later at the Council to the news of how Gollum was treated), it seems
>to me that the Wood Elves did mistreat Thorin and Co.

Really? They had adequate food, they were not chained but merely
locked in cells, they were not tortured in any way. In other words,
they were treated exactly as a material witness who refuses a
judge's direct order to talk.

In the legal phrase, "they had the keys" -- they could have got out
any time, simply by telling the King what he wanted to know.

Seems to me Thranduil was well within his rights: strangers were
wandering in his realm, and would give no good account of
themselves. By the standards of the time he treated them very well.

If you say that the Wood-elves treated Gollum better, I don't
disagree (and neither did Legolas). But that doesn't mean that
Thorin and Company were mistreated.

Odysseus

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Dec 16, 2003, 10:16:24 PM12/16/03
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Pete Gray wrote:
>
> On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:00:18 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
> >
> >It is quite common to switch the digits in e.g. phone numbers (Danish
> >phone numbers are eight digits which are usually read as four
> >two-digit numbers - each of them of the "three and fifty" variety)
>
> Ah, but we don't say telephone numbers like that -- we just give the
> name of each individual digit, grouped in threes or twos, eg:
>
> 01620 828203: Oh-one six-two-oh eight-two-eight two-oh-three
> 0131 229 7465: Oh-one three-one two-two-nine seven-four six-five
>
> After all why would one say a phone number, which is just a string of
> digits, as if it were an actual number, representing a quantity?
>
In North America people often dictate phone numbers using 'grouped'
words: here all phone numbers have the form XXX-XXXX, and it's quite
common to hear the last four spoken as a pair of two-digit numbers,
e.g. "twelve thirty-four" instead of "one two three four". I don't
know why.

A curious case where this tendency can be misleading is in the
nomeclature of survey roads in the western parts of Canada and the
US. "Range Road 223" means "the third section road in Range 22", and
therefore runs three miles east of R.R. 220, but one often hears the
number spoken "two twenty-three", concealing the implicit
navigational aid.


>
> This twenty stuff is in English as well of course: three score and
> ten, "Four score and seven years ago..."
>

French is another language retaining traces of counting by 20s: its
80 is "four twenties", and (except in Switzerland) its 70, 90 & 96
(e.g.) are respectively "sixty-ten", "eighty (four twenties)-ten", & "eighty-sixteen".

--
Odysseus

Stan Brown

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Dec 17, 2003, 1:21:07 PM12/17/03
to
In article <3FDFCA87...@yahoo-dot.ca> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Odysseus wrote:
>rench is another language retaining traces of counting by 20s: its
>80 is "four twenties", and (except in Switzerland) its 70, 90 & 96
>(e.g.) are respectively "sixty-ten", "eighty (four twenties)-ten", & "eighty-sixteen".

What are they in Switzerland? "Septante" and "Neuvante"?

Een Wilde Ier

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Dec 17, 2003, 4:26:56 PM12/17/03
to
Henriette wrote:

There's only one proven solution to a hereditary monarchy...

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 1:12:34 AM12/18/03
to
Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<brqhmu$46401$3...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de>...

>
> There's only one proven solution to a hereditary monarchy...

What? Uninstall it?

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 1:27:42 AM12/18/03
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<n5kutvoe8hn9b59eu...@4ax.com>...

> On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:00:18 GMT, "Troels Forchhammer"
> <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
> >in <be50318e.03121...@posting.google.com>,
> >Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> enriched us with:
> >
> >> One probably has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty
> >> hundred eight and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her
> >> life (snip)

>
> You don't have thousands? Two thousand, nine hundred, eight and fifty
> is not as bad.

If you would say that in NL, everyone would understand, but they would
quickly exchange glances and mimick behind your back, suggesting you
must be a half-wit:-)


>
> >It is quite common to switch the digits in e.g. phone numbers (Danish
> >phone numbers are eight digits which are usually read as four
> >two-digit numbers - each of them of the "three and fifty" variety)
>
> Ah, but we don't say telephone numbers like that -- we just give the
> name of each individual digit, grouped in threes or twos, eg:
>
> 01620 828203: Oh-one six-two-oh eight-two-eight two-oh-three
> 0131 229 7465: Oh-one three-one two-two-nine seven-four six-five
>

We do both. Reading phone numbers in individual digits, in grouped
digits (which I believe, is slowly slowly turning somewhat
old-fashioned) or in a combination of both. E.G. in Pete's first
example I would say (in Dutch):
Oh sixteen twenty, eight-two-eight two-oh-three.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 1:37:32 AM12/18/03
to
Odysseus <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message news:<3FDFCA87...@yahoo-dot.ca>...

> >
> French is another language retaining traces of counting by 20s: its
> 80 is "four twenties", and (except in Switzerland) its 70, 90 & 96
> (e.g.) are respectively "sixty-ten", "eighty (four twenties)-ten", & "eighty-sixteen".

quatre-vingt-dix for ninety. The French must be related to the Danish,
and I feel more and more comfortable with our "eight-and-fifty"!

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 1:52:56 AM12/18/03
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<9plutv8f9e4bngl09...@4ax.com>...

> On 15 Dec 2003 22:59:10 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >One has to have worked with numbers like "nine and twenty hundred eight

> >and fifty" (to take a relatively simple one) all her life, to be
> >thoroughly aware how unpractical and confusing it is.
> >
> It sounds horrid. Doesn't that make mathematics a nightmare for many?

It trains our perseverence in combination with all the languages we
have to learn:-) If your IQ is even slightly above average you have to
learn German, French and English besides Dutch, for at least several
years. Spanish is added in some schools, and then you are encouraged
to also pick up Italian. If your IQ is way above average, you have to
learn Greek and Latin as well and you can choose a high school where
part of the lessons are given in either English or Spanish.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 2:32:51 AM12/18/03
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnbtuagm.3i0....@alder.alberni.net>...

>
> I'm not saying the claims are unreasonable. Of course they were eminently
> reasonable. The folk of Lake-town had treated the Dwarves very well, and
> had suffered terribly for it.
>
> However, in the interests of tact and diplomacy, marching an army to the
> Lonely Mountain, an army which included people that had been very unkind to
> the Dwarves, and then speaking of a parley seemed a tad over the top and
> aggressive.

I agree. But wouldn't it have been royal if Thorin had said something
like: In spite of, and not because of, your rather aggressive display
of power and the unjust treatment we received from the Wood-elves, I
find your claims reasonable and will give you your share and more. I
would have anyway, and it would have been nice if you had given me the
chance to offer it myself.

Henriette

Henriette

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Dec 18, 2003, 2:49:44 AM12/18/03