Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk2 Ch2 The Council of Elrond (PART 1 - Introduction)

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Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 19, 2004, 6:55:51 PM4/19/04
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Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
Book 2, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond (PART 1 of 3)

To read previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
introduce a future chapter, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

Due to the length and complexity of this chapter, I have divided the
material into three separate posts, of which this is the first. The
three separate posts are:

PART 1 - Introduction: an overall summary and general points.
PART 2 - The Reports: details of the reports and the response.
PART 3 - The Characters: discussion of characterisation.

I have tried to make each of the three posts self-contained, but it is
still best to read all three first. Also, the posts are still very long,
so please remember to quote only the bits to which you reply.

PART 1 - INTRODUCTION
=====================

'The Council of Elrond' is the longest chapter and one of the most
complex in 'The Lord of the Rings'. It covers a staggering amount of
material. The Council takes place on a porch at Rivendell, but through
the medium of storytelling we, along with Frodo and the rest of the
Council, travel far in time and to many different places in
Middle-earth, learning much about what has been happening... [This is
covered in more detail in Part 2].

Despite this large amount of exposition (supplying the reader with plot
and background information), 'The Council of Elrond' is not just a
history lesson or a series of tales. Tolkien manages to expertly use
this chapter to develop existing characters and introduce new ones. It
is also fascinating to see the interactions between the characters and
their response to the reports, to the debates, and of course to each
other... [This is covered in more detail in Part 3].

First though, a 'brief' overview of what happens in this chapter.

Brief Chapter Summary
=====================

In the last chapter we left Frodo in Rivendell going to bed to continue
recovering his strength after his illness, and to prepare him for the
Council the next day. Frodo wakes early next morning, feeling refreshed
and well. He goes outside and walks with Sam on the terraces around
Rivendell, enjoying the scenery. They meet Bilbo and Gandalf deep in
conversation. Suddenly, a clear bell rings out: the signal for the
Council of Elrond!

Frodo and Bilbo follow Gandalf back to the house and onto the porch. Sam
follows them, uninvited and forgotten. Frodo has been lulled by the
peace and beauty, feeling that all the dangers he has been through are
but the memories of a troubled dream. However, the faces of the Council
are grave.

Frodo recognises Elrond, Glorfindel, Gloin and Aragorn. Elrond presents
Frodo to the Council and names those that Frodo has not met before:
Gimli (Gloin's son); Erestor (an elf and Elrond's chief counsellor);
Galdor (an elf from the Grey Havens); Legolas (an elf and son of the
King of Mirkwood); and Boromir (a man 'from the South'). There are also
other, unnamed, counsellors 'from Elrond's household'. Boromir gazes at
Frodo and Bilbo with sudden wonder. We also learn that Boromir is
clothed in rich garments that are stained from long travel, that he
arrived unexpectedly that morning, and that Gandalf was unaware of his
arrival.

The Council is seated around Elrond on the porch. There is a table in
front of Elrond. Both Boromir and Aragorn are offset from the rest of
the council: Boromir is seated slightly apart and Aragorn is sitting in
a corner, both more spectators than participants. Also, Sam, despite not
being invited, is sitting quietly in another corner. Frodo sits next to
Elrond, with Bilbo at his side. Gimli sits with Gloin, and the Elves sit
together. Galdor is seated near to Frodo.

The Council begins in the early morning as the Sun rises over the
mountains, and concludes soon after the noon bell rings. Several reports
are presented to the Council and debated.

i) Gloin reports that Sauron is trying to find Bilbo and his ring, that
Balin has attempted to retake Moria, and that Sauron's forces are
threatening Dale and Erebor.

ii) Elrond acknowledges that Sauron is threatening all the western
world. He recounts the history of the Ring (known to few) to remind
everyone of the added peril that it poses if Sauron regains it. He tells
of its forging, of Sauron's defeat by the Last Alliance, of the taking
of the Ring by Isildur, and of its loss at the Gladden Fields. He then
tells of the passing of Arnor, and of the history of Gondor. Elrond
concludes with an account of the recent decline of Gondor and of the
rise of evil in Mordor once more.

iii) Boromir interrupts and declares that he is from the land of Gondor.
He confirms that the Enemy is indeed increasing in strength and has
gained victories in Ithilien, but Gondor still holds the west banks of
the River Anduin. Boromir also reports a dream containing references to
a broken sword, Imladris (Rivendell), Isildur's Bane, and a Halfling.

iv) In a dramatic moment, Aragorn explains the reference to the broken
sword by casting the shards of Narsil on the table. Aragorn is revealed
as the Heir of Isildur. Frodo (the Halfling) then brings out his ring,
declared by Elrond to be Isildur's Bane, the Ruling Ring. Aragorn offers
his help to Boromir and this is debated before the discussion turns back
to the history of Frodo's ring.

v) Bilbo regales the Council with the tale of his adventures with Gollum
and his discovery of this ring (in the tunnels beneath the Misty
Mountains), and that this ring was passed on to Frodo.

vi) Frodo tells the Council about his flight from the Shire to Rivendell
with this ring, and he is closely questioned, especially about the Black
Riders that pursued him.

vii) Gandalf is called upon to provide the proofs that this ring of
Frodo's is indeed the Great Ring of long debate. Gandalf carefully
reports his findings and arguments, the most critical being that a
scroll found in Gondor, written by Isildur, tells of markings on the One
Ring. In another dramatic moment, Gandalf reveals that these markings
have been found on Frodo's ring. Corroborating evidence is provided by
the capture and the interrogation of Gollum, who reveals that the ring
came from near the Gladden Fields, and who also reveals that the Enemy
knows of this ring and the Shire.

viii) Legolas interrupts to say that Gollum, who was being held prisoner
by the Elves of Mirkwood, has escaped with the aid of forces of the
Enemy. We also learn that southern Mirkwood has been retaken by the
Enemy.

ix) Gandalf explains what happened after he left Frodo at the end of
June. Following news that the Nazgul had crossed the River Anduin and
were seeking the Shire, he rode to Isengard to seek the aid of Saruman
the White, greatest of the Wizards. Gandalf was imprisoned by Saruman,
who has turned to evil and now openly desires the One Ring for himself.
Gandalf was later rescued by an eagle, Gwaihir the Windlord, and carried
to the land of Rohan.

x) Gandalf concludes the Tale of the Ring by relating his pursuit of the
Nazgul on Shadowfax (a horse from Rohan), and his attempt to reach Frodo
before the Nazgul. After reaching the Shire, Gandalf followed the trail
to Bree and heard from Butterbur that the hobbits were safe with
Aragorn. That night some of the Nazgul rode through Bree, and Gandalf
rode in pursuit the next morning. Gandalf reached Weathertop before the
hobbits, and drove the Nazgul away. After holding them at bay, he fled
and was pursued by four Nazgul, leaving the rest to attack Frodo at
Weathertop.

The reports are unified by two common themes: the growing power of
Sauron and his hunt for the Ring; and the history of the Ring, its
discovery and the response of the Wise.

The rest of the Council consists of a debate about what to do with the
One Ring. A variety of options are discussed: sending the Ring to
Bombadil, keeping and hiding the Ring, sending the Ring over the Sea,
losing the Ring by casting it into the Sea, or destroying the Ring.
Boromir and Gimli raise the option of using the Ring or other Rings of
Power, but this is rejected by the rest of the Council. The conclusion
is that the Ring must be destroyed by throwing it into Mount Doom
(Orodruin) in the land of Mordor, stronghold of Sauron.

Bilbo is the first to volunteer, but he is told that the Ring has passed
on. After a long silence, and despite wanting to remain at peace in
Rivendell with Bilbo, Frodo volunteers to take the Ring. Elrond approves
this choice, and the chapter ends with Sam volunteering himself as
Frodo's companion: "a nice pickle we have landed ourselves in, Mr
Frodo!"

Comments and thoughts [PART 1 ONLY]
=====================

These are general and miscellaneous comments. See the other two posts
for comments on more specific matters: what the Council learns from the
reports, and the ensuing debate, are discussed in PART 2; the
characters, including the confrontations between Aragorn and Boromir,
and between Gandalf and Saruman, and also the characters of Elrond and
Frodo, are discussed in PART 3.

1) Elrond says that the Council was 'called hither': "Called, I say,
though I have not called you to me, strangers from distant lands. You
have come and are here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it
may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we
who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of
the world."

So what is this? Intervention by a divine power (Eru)? Co-incidence?
Synchronicity? There are many other references in this chapter and the
book to some overall plan or guiding power. Remember that Boromir was
sent by a dream from the West, but how do you explain the rest of the
Council being there?

2) Structure of chapter and book

(i) The structure of this chapter differs from the others in length,
style and narrative. Parts (Elrond's account) are like the appendices.
Parts of the 'history' exposition at the Council has been removed to the
appendices, and some has already been told, notably in 'The Shadow of
the Past'. There is lots of retelling, exposition and flashbacks.
However, it is still written as one entire chapter, probably because
Tolkien wanted us to experience these revelations as Frodo does, in one
sitting.

Does this work? Could the material in this chapter have been presented
in a different or a better way? Is this chapter too long-winded? Should
more or less of the material have been placed in the appendices or
elsewhere in the book?

(ii) Together with the previous chapter ('Many Meetings'), 'The Council
of Elrond' forms an interlude, a dividing point between the 'flight
_from_ danger' (between the Shire and Rivendell), and the 'quest _into_
danger' that follows. It forms a starting point for a new phase of the
story. It is an interlude that allows both the reader and Tolkien to
draw their breath and assess where the story is going. Up until now, it
seems that events have swept both us and the author on a barely
controlled roller coaster ride, with the final goal being Rivendell.
Now, with a lengthy chapter of exposition, the story can prepare to
begin afresh with a new goal and a quest to fulfil that goal. In a
sense, the metamorphosis of the 'sequel' to 'The Hobbit' has finished,
and new characters are brought in and journeys to new lands can be
planned by the author.

Is this a common literary device? I see this chapter as something of a
gamble by Tolkien, but a gamble that paid off. Or maybe he simply knew
what he was doing! It helped that he had a rich background to write
from.

3) First-time reading

(i) I distinctly remember re-reading this chapter many, many times when
I was reading LotR the first few times. In fact, the spine of my copy of
the book has disintegrated at this point, and most of the pages of 'The
Council of Elrond' are falling out!! I remember re-reading it partly to
read once again about the history and new realms that Tolkien reveals,
but also just to absorb the sheer complexity of the material provided,
and to savour the archaic 'annalistic' style of Elrond's account.

Did anyone else have this reaction of re-reading this chapter many
times?

(ii) The reaction of a first-time reader of this chapter must be very
different from that of someone re-reading the chapter after reading the
whole book, or reading 'The Silmarillion'. All the references to the
First and Second Ages, and to places not yet visited by the reader
(Moria, Gondor, Rohan, Isengard), can be overwhelming. However, such
references sow the seeds of recognition and enrich the experience of
reading the rest of the book. In contrast, the re-reader now recognises
much of what is mentioned, including what was only mentioned in passing
(Lorien, the Havens, Eregion, the Argonath, the Black Gate, the Dead
Marshes, and Morgul Vale). In this way, the re-reader attains new levels
of understanding of Tolkien's world. When preparing this summary, I
found that I spotted something new each time I re-read the chapter.

What memories do people have from reading and re-reading this chapter?

4) There is a nice set of story-external touches in this chapter,
providing some of the humour to lighten the mood. Particularly through
the use of Bilbo.

(i) When Bilbo attempts to tell the story of the Party, Elrond stops
him. Is this symbolic of the move away from 'The Hobbit' style of the
Party chapter and an assertion of the new, darker tale of the Ring?

(ii) After Frodo has finished his account of the journey to Rivendell,
Bilbo whispers to Frodo (and the reader): "there are whole chapters of
stuff before you ever got here"!

(iii) When Gandalf tells Bilbo he cannot be the Ringbearer, he adds that
Bilbo should "get ready to write a sequel when they come back", a clear
reference to 'The Lord of the Rings' starting off as a sequel to 'The
Hobbit'!

(iv) Another humorous touch, again involving Bilbo but this time
story-internal, is when Elrond asks Bilbo to tell his story in words "if
you have not yet cast your story into verse"! Is this Elrond's rejoinder
to Bilbo's cheeky verse about Earendil?

Do you find these touches humorous and endearing or just distracting?

5) Two brief linguistic queries: Isildur refers to the Ring as a
'weregild' for his father and brother. He plainly means the Ring to be
some compensation for their deaths. This is one of many examples of
Tolkien using obscure words, but what is the full origin and meaning of
this archaic word 'weregild'? And the same question for 'glede', as in
"hot as a glede" from Isildur's scroll describing the One Ring.

6) Finally, a quick trivia question: 'The Council of Elrond' (at 42
pages) is the longest chapter in 'The Lord of the Rings'. Which chapter
do you think is the next longest?

Please add any other questions or points you wish to raise. I have had
to be brief in places and these posts are only meant to provide a
framework for the discussion, so please feel free to pick an episode
from this chapter and discuss it in more detail.

And don't forget to read the other two posts about this chapter!

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

Boromir's dream:

Seek for the Sword that was broken:
In Imladris it dwells;
There shall be counsels taken
Stronger than Morgul spells.
There shall be shown a token
That Doom is near at hand,
For Isildur's Bane shall waken,
And the Halfling forth shall stand.


Glenn Holliday

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Apr 19, 2004, 8:04:34 PM4/19/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>

Thanks Christopher for an enormous amount of work here.

> Is this a common literary device? I see this chapter as something of a
> gamble by Tolkien, but a gamble that paid off. Or maybe he simply knew
> what he was doing! It helped that he had a rich background to write
> from.

Or maybe he didn't know what he was doing? (If so, he still did it
right!)

> 3) First-time reading
>
> (i) I distinctly remember re-reading this chapter many, many times when
> I was reading LotR the first few times. In fact, the spine of my copy of
> the book has disintegrated at this point, and most of the pages of 'The
> Council of Elrond' are falling out!! I remember re-reading it partly to
> read once again about the history and new realms that Tolkien reveals,
> but also just to absorb the sheer complexity of the material provided,
> and to savour the archaic 'annalistic' style of Elrond's account.

My memory of first-time reading is confusion at the mass of
new detail. Looking back, I think I felt like Frodo did.
While preparing for the quest, Frodo attempted to study
Elrond's library, but felt overwhelmed and actually absorbed
only a fraction of what he needed. I wonder if Tolkien
intended the first-time reader to have the same reaction?
If so, it makes this chapter an even bigger risk as a writer.
But based on descriptions in his biographies, I suspect not -
it's more likely that Tolkien expected his readers to
absorb it all with ease.

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

Stan Brown

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Apr 19, 2004, 9:20:51 PM4/19/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>5) Two brief linguistic queries: Isildur refers to the Ring as a
>'weregild' for his father and brother. He plainly means the Ring to be
>some compensation for their deaths. This is one of many examples of
>Tolkien using obscure words, but what is the full origin and meaning of
>this archaic word 'weregild'? And the same question for 'glede', as in
>"hot as a glede" from Isildur's scroll describing the One Ring.

Did you know that Google can define words for you? Type "define:"
(no quotes" and the word in the search box. However, what follows is
my own, unGoogled.

The word is actually "wergild" (though you cite the same spelling
as LotR), and the concept was important in English law before and
for some years after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The idea was that there was no such thing as prosecution by the
state. Therefore when A murdered B, B's surviving relatives would go
after A and try to kill him, plus perhaps a few family members for
good measure. Any killing, even perhaps an accidental one, thus led
to a blood feud and the wiping out of one or two families.

So the law prescribed a payment to be made for the man. A (with his
family) would pay the wergild to B's survivors, and then it would be
illegal for B's family to take any other reprisals. Different
wergild amounts were prescribed for a slave, a peasant, a knight, a
noble, and the king. (Wergild for the king was "thoughtfully set so
high that no one could pay it" according to Charles Rembar in /The
Law of the Land/, if my memory is accurate.)

If the murderer paid the wergild, he fully satisfied the penalties
of the law and the murdered man's family had to accept it. If the
murderer did not pay the wergild, he was subject to killing by the
murdered man's family, and they were considered guiltless.

A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite hot.

--
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/genl/faqget.htm

Glenn Holliday

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Apr 19, 2004, 9:20:48 PM4/19/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>
> 5) Two brief linguistic queries: Isildur refers to the Ring as a
> 'weregild' for his father and brother. He plainly means the Ring to be
> some compensation for their deaths. This is one of many examples of
> Tolkien using obscure words, but what is the full origin and meaning of
> this archaic word 'weregild'?

It is a payment to atone for causing a death. It developed
as an alternative to escalating cycles of family paybacks.
The Anglo-Saxons developed a complex schedule of
how much should be paid, depending on the victim's social status,
the circumstances of the death, and how much of the payment
was apportioned to the immediate family, the lord who had
lost the victim's services, and on up the feudal line to the king.

The word is were (Anglo-Saxon man) and gild (A-S money).
It's often translated "man-price". You find similar concepts
and words in Norse, Celtic, and other European cultures.
Gild is related to Geld and Guilder, words for "money" in
related languages. Were, of course, is found in the names
of various werebeasts that shift form between man and animal.

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

Henriette

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Apr 20, 2004, 12:49:59 AM4/20/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<XNYgc.3304$8N4.31...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond (PART 1 of 3)
>
> Due to the length and complexity of this chapter, I have divided the
> material into three separate posts, of which this is the first.

!! Very well!!


>
> 5) Two brief linguistic queries: Isildur refers to the Ring as a
> 'weregild' for his father and brother. He plainly means the Ring to be
> some compensation for their deaths. This is one of many examples of
> Tolkien using obscure words, but what is the full origin and meaning of
> this archaic word 'weregild'?

Two thoughts come up here: The 'Jiddische' word for 'rent' is
'dire-gelt', and the Dutch word for 'money' is 'geld'. I think one way
or another it must have something to do with geld.

I'll swear an Oath to write more later ;-)

Henriette

Kristian Damm Jensen

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Apr 20, 2004, 4:04:47 AM4/20/04
to
Stan Brown wrote:

> A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite hot.

Google does not define glede. Mirriam-Webster informs us that a glede is
"any of several birds of prey (as a kite of Europe)". I doubt if that was
the meaning intended by Tolkien. :-)

--
Kristian Damm Jensen damm (at) ofir (dot) dk
Lord, give me patience! At once!

Dirk Thierbach

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Apr 20, 2004, 4:22:39 AM4/20/04
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>>5) Two brief linguistic queries: Isildur refers to the Ring as a
>>'weregild' for his father and brother. He plainly means the Ring to be
>>some compensation for their deaths. This is one of many examples of
>>Tolkien using obscure words, but what is the full origin and meaning of
>>this archaic word 'weregild'? And the same question for 'glede', as in
>>"hot as a glede" from Isildur's scroll describing the One Ring.

> The word is actually "wergild" (though you cite the same spelling

> as LotR), and the concept was important in English law before and
> for some years after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

[...]

> So the law prescribed a payment to be made for the man.

And "wer" just means "man", as in "werewolf" = "man-wolf". "gild" is
probably related to german "geld" (= "money"), which again is probably
related to "gold. So "weregild" = "man-money". Quite logical, isn't it? :-)
The (archaic) german term is "Wergeld".

(This is from memory, so it may not be completely accurate in details.)

- Dirk

the softrat

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Apr 20, 2004, 12:44:32 PM4/20/04
to

'wergild' is 'man-money' in Old English: the money paid to relatives
to forstall retaliation for a death. Later, 'wergild' became
institutionalized and there is reference to it in Old English laws.

BTW, the 'wer' in 'wergild' survives in 'werwolf', 'man-wolf'. It is
cognate with the Latin 'vir', 'man'.

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"What hoop?" "We'll worry about that once you're in the air."

Pete Gray

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Apr 20, 2004, 1:48:29 PM4/20/04
to
On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 10:04:47 +0200, "Kristian Damm Jensen"
<REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote:

>Stan Brown wrote:
>
>> A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite hot.
>
>Google does not define glede. Mirriam-Webster informs us that a glede is
>"any of several birds of prey (as a kite of Europe)". I doubt if that was
>the meaning intended by Tolkien. :-)

Chambers has it as 'gleed': 'A hot coal or burning ember.', related to
German 'Glut'.

<http://www.bartleby.com/61/74/G0147400.html>


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

Richard Williams

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Apr 20, 2004, 2:09:00 PM4/20/04
to
In article <bcoa80pvhp98ij8kb...@4ax.com>,

It may be worth mentioning that this word is also used in The Hobbit:

"Full on the town he fell. His last throes splintered it to sparks and
gledes. The lake roared in. A vast steam leaped up, white in the sudden
dark under the moon. There was a hiss, a gushing whirl, and then silence."

Richard.

Alan Reynolds

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Apr 20, 2004, 3:49:03 PM4/20/04
to

"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote in message
news:c62lll$73vsv$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de...

I'm from Northumberland originally - I remember 'glede' as the word used for
a hot ember out of the fire. But then the Northumbrian dialect has many old
English words; probably of inerest to Tolkien.

Alan


Rich Gibbs

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Apr 20, 2004, 4:06:03 PM4/20/04
to
Pete Gray said the following, on 04/20/04 13:48:

> On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 10:04:47 +0200, "Kristian Damm Jensen"
> <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote:
>
>
>>Stan Brown wrote:
>>
>>
>>>A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite hot.
>>
>>Google does not define glede. Mirriam-Webster informs us that a glede is
>>"any of several birds of prey (as a kite of Europe)". I doubt if that was
>>the meaning intended by Tolkien. :-)
>
>
> Chambers has it as 'gleed': 'A hot coal or burning ember.', related to
> German 'Glut'.
>

The _American Heritage Dictionary_ has it spelled 'gleed', also. It
gives this etymology:
ME 'gleed(e)', OE 'gled'; c. OHG 'gluot', ON 'gloth'; akin to 'glow'

Both this and 'weregild' (which has been explained by other posters)
have been around in the lineage of English for a long while: not
entirely surprising, coming from the Professor of Anglo-Saxon. ;-)


--
Rich Gibbs
rgi...@his.com

Stan Brown

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Apr 20, 2004, 5:15:21 PM4/20/04
to
"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Google does not define glede. Mirriam-Webster informs us that a glede is
>"any of several birds of prey (as a kite of Europe)". I doubt if that was
>the meaning intended by Tolkien. :-)

Keep reading -- there should be several definitions.

Shanahan

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Apr 20, 2004, 6:50:02 PM4/20/04
to
>Richard Williams wrote:
>> Pete Gray <pe...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

>>> "Kristian Damm Jensen" wrote:
>>>> Stan Brown wrote:
>>>> A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite
>>>> hot.
>>>
>>> Google does not define glede. Mirriam-Webster informs us that a
>>> glede is "any of several birds of prey (as a kite of Europe)". I
>>> doubt if that was the meaning intended by Tolkien. :-)
>>
>> Chambers has it as 'gleed': 'A hot coal or burning ember.', related
>> to German 'Glut'.
>> <http://www.bartleby.com/61/74/G0147400.html>
>
> It may be worth mentioning that this word is also used in The Hobbit:
<snip quote>
> Richard.

FWIW, here's the OED (don't know what formatting will make the trip):

gleed glede
[Common Teut.: OE. gl d, gléd str. f. = OFris. glêd, OS. glôd- (MDu.
gloet, gloed-, Du. gloed), OHG. gluot (mod.G. glut), ON. gló (Sw., Da.
glöd): OTeut. *glô i-z, related to GLOW v.]
1. A live coal; an ember. Now only arch. or dial.
b. Frequent in similes, as red (hot, fierce) as a gleed; to burn
(glow, glister, glitter) as a gleed; to spring as gleed or as spark of
gleed. Obs.

wergeld; wehrgeld wergild.
In ancient Teutonic and Old English law, the price set upon a man
according to his rank, paid by way of compensation or fine in cases of
homicide and certain other crimes to free the offender from further
obligation or punishment.

(Sorry, didn't get the etymology for weregild. If anyone's interested, I
can.)

- Ciaran S.

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

unread,
Apr 20, 2004, 7:42:54 PM4/20/04
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> What memories do people have from reading and re-reading this chapter?

I have one irksome memory. The first time I read the book,
I was so eager to get through it that I turned two pages at one
point without realizing that the text at the top of the new page
didn't complete the sentence I had been reading on the old page.
I thus completely skipped two pages. Those two pages had the
"Isildur's Bane" dream poem on them. So later, when Boromir was
referring to Isildur's Bane, I had no idea what he was talking
about. It was only much later -- I think during a Faramir scene
-- that I realized I had missed something big, and turned back
to read it. :-)

BTW, re. "glede" -- Tom Shippey discusses this word and
Tolkien's use of it in _JRRT: AOTC_ (which as everyone should
know, stands for _JRRT: Author of the Century_ (OK, to complete
the expansion, _John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: Author of the Century_)).

--Jamie. (nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita)
andrews .uwo } Merge these two lines to obtain my e-mail address.
@csd .ca } (Unsolicited "bulk" e-mail costs everyone.)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Apr 21, 2004, 5:19:48 PM4/21/04
to
In message <news:c62lll$73vsv$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>
"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> enriched us with:
>
> Stan Brown wrote:
>>
>> A glede is a glowing bit of charcoal in a fire, obviously quite
>> hot.
>
> Google does not define glede.

I never wondered about this word - probably because it's so close to
the Danish "glød" (with the same meaning - a some additional ones).

There's a few of the archaic words that Tolkien use that are like that,
but a lot that aren't ;-)

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

This isn't right. This isn't even wrong.
- Wolfgang Pauli, on a paper submitted by a physicist colleague

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 6:21:35 AM4/22/04
to
the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<fvia80dqq56h5jf6k...@4ax.com>...

>
> BTW, the 'wer' in 'wergild' survives in 'werwolf', 'man-wolf'. It is
> cognate with the Latin 'vir', 'man'.
>
That is nice to know. I always wondered where the 'weer' in the Dutch
'weerwolf' came from. From the one meaning of weer: 'again', or of the
other meaning: 'weather'....
'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that: 'viriel'.

Henrietta

Henriette

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 6:31:30 AM4/22/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<XNYgc.3304$8N4.31...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> 1) Elrond says that the Council was 'called hither': "Called, I say,


> though I have not called you to me, strangers from distant lands. You
> have come and are here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it
> may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we
> who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of
> the world."
>
> So what is this? Intervention by a divine power (Eru)? Co-incidence?
> Synchronicity? There are many other references in this chapter and the

> book to some overall plan or guiding power. (snip)

Yes, isn't it wonderful? We have to live with that. Listen to what
Gandalf says when he describes his visit to Saruman to the Council:
'(...) and suddenly I was afraid, though I knew no reason for it'.
What is that? Divine guidance? Intuition? ESP? Coincidence?
Synchronicity? Yet something else?
>
Henriette

Taemon

unread,
Apr 22, 2004, 1:41:49 PM4/22/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that: 'viriel'.

Yeah, but we don't say it very often. I agree on the
weerwolf-comment, by the way. What does that make Annie M.G.
Schmidt's heen-en-weerwolf? A hermaphrodite?

T.


Glenn 78

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 1:04:17 AM4/24/04
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

3) First-time reading

>
> (i) I distinctly remember re-reading this chapter many, many times when
> I was reading LotR the first few times. In fact, the spine of my copy of
> the book has disintegrated at this point, and most of the pages of 'The
> Council of Elrond' are falling out!! I remember re-reading it partly to
> read once again about the history and new realms that Tolkien reveals,
> but also just to absorb the sheer complexity of the material provided,
> and to savour the archaic 'annalistic' style of Elrond's account.
>
> Did anyone else have this reaction of re-reading this chapter many
> times?
>
> (ii) The reaction of a first-time reader of this chapter must be very
> different from that of someone re-reading the chapter after reading the

> whole book, or reading 'The Silmarillion'. ...

> What memories do people have from reading and re-reading this chapter?
>

> Christopher
>

I remember being a bit frustrated the first time I read this chapter,
probably because there was a lot I didn't understand. I might have stopped
reading right there, but fortunately after reading the Hobbit, (another good
reason to read the "Hobbit" first) I was familiar with Tolkien's use of
historic bits, names, places etc, that hinted at a larger story and knew
that details would become clearer as the story progressed. There are
similarities between this chapter in LOTR and "A Short Rest" in the Hobbit.
The safe setting of Rivendell provides the chance pause in both, they both
shift directions, goals are defined, and Elrond gives Virgilesque guiding
interpretations. This chapter does spin it's magic and now a joy read after
reading "Silmarillion'.

Glenn78

Henriette

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 3:54:29 AM4/24/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<c6905a$9g5t1$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> Henriette wrote:
>
> > 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that: 'viriel'.
>
> Yeah, but we don't say it very often.

IMO it is a regular word.

> I agree on the
> weerwolf-comment, by the way. What does that make Annie M.G.
> Schmidt's heen-en-weerwolf? A hermaphrodite?
>

I think it shows she was also puzzled by the "weer" in "weerwolf".

H.

Taemon

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 6:29:54 AM4/24/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message

> > Henriette wrote:
> > > 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that:
> > > 'viriel'.
> > Yeah, but we don't say it very often.
> IMO it is a regular word.

Really? Can I meet your boyfriend?

> > I agree on the
> > weerwolf-comment, by the way. What does that make Annie
> > M.G. Schmidt's heen-en-weerwolf? A hermaphrodite?
> I think it shows she was also puzzled by the "weer" in
> "weerwolf".

I think she was being extremely funny.

T. <not going to the movie!>


Rich Gibbs

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 3:31:44 PM4/24/04
to
Henriette said the following, on 04/24/04 03:54:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<c6905a$9g5t1$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>
>>Henriette wrote:
>>
>>
>>>'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that: 'viriel'.
>>
>>Yeah, but we don't say it very often.
>
>
> IMO it is a regular word.
>

It's not a very common word in American English, anyway. (BTW, it's
spelled 'virile' here; the noun form is 'virility'.)

But there are other related words that are more common: 'virtue' is
perhaps the most common (I am sorry for the implied sexism, but I didn't
invent the language ;-); 'virulent' and (I think) 'virus' are others
(perhaps that redresses the balance somewhat).

--
Rich Gibbs
rgi...@his.com

Odysseus

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 5:53:35 PM4/24/04
to
The English spelling is "virile"; the noun form is "virility". Also
cognate is "virtue" (with "virtuous" and "virtual").

--
Odysseus

Raven

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 7:09:37 PM4/24/04
to
"Rich Gibbs" <rgi...@REMOVEhis.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:408a...@news101.his.com...

> But there are other related words that are more common: 'virtue' is
> perhaps the most common (I am sorry for the implied sexism, but I didn't
> invent the language ;-); 'virulent' and (I think) 'virus' are others
> (perhaps that redresses the balance somewhat).

"Virus" means "poison". I don't know if the likeness in form between
"vir" and "virus" is a coincidence.

Corvus.


Odysseus

unread,
Apr 24, 2004, 9:54:39 PM4/24/04
to
Raven wrote:
>
> "Virus" means "poison". I don't know if the likeness in form between
> "vir" and "virus" is a coincidence.
>
There's no etymological relation AFAICT.

--
Odysseus

Henriette

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 2:34:39 AM4/25/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<c6dfj5$astts$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> Henriette wrote:
>
> > "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
> > > Henriette wrote:
> > > > 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that:
> > > > 'viriel'.
> > > Yeah, but we don't say it very often.
> > IMO it is a regular word.
>
> Really? Can I meet your boyfriend?

To get an indication of the meaning of the word 'viriel'? Maybe we can
meet at THE Hortus Botanicus!



> T. <not going to the movie!>

H. <not going to THE movies!>

Henriette

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 2:39:05 AM4/25/04
to
Rich Gibbs <rgi...@REMOVEhis.com> wrote in message news:<408a...@news101.his.com>...

>
> It's not a very common word in American English, anyway. (BTW, it's
> spelled 'virile' here; the noun form is 'virility'.)
>
> But there are other related words that are more common: 'virtue' is
> perhaps the most common (I am sorry for the implied sexism, but I didn't
> invent the language ;-);

It probably has been called 'vir-tue', because virtue was found so
seldom amongst *men*.

>'virulent' and (I think) 'virus' are others
> (perhaps that redresses the balance somewhat).

LOL!

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 2:59:46 AM4/25/04
to
Odysseus <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message news:<408AE1FE...@yahoo-dot.ca>...
> Henriette wrote:

> > 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that: 'viriel'.
> >
> The English spelling is "virile"; the noun form is "virility". Also
> cognate is "virtue" (with "virtuous" and "virtual").

Thank you for your correction and explanations!

What I'm wrestling with somewhat at the moment, is the word order of
verbs and adverbs. I'll give some examples:

I am probably going home tomorrow. (Is 'probably' correctly placed?
Can tomorrow be both at the end and the beginning of the sentence?)
I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).

Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)

Henriette

Taemon

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 4:12:35 AM4/25/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
> > Henriette wrote:
> > > > > 'Vir' like in 'viril', right? We also say that:
> > > > > 'viriel'.
> > > > Yeah, but we don't say it very often.
> > > IMO it is a regular word.
> > Really? Can I meet your boyfriend?
> To get an indication of the meaning of the word 'viriel'?
> Maybe we can meet at THE Hortus Botanicus!

Do the have one of those megaphallusplants?

> > T. <not going to the movie!>
> H. <not going to THE movies!>

You probably didn't think otherwise but to be sure, I meant the
Pluk van de Petteflat-movie. Can't wait for the ROTK-EE.

T.


Pete Gray

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 7:42:52 AM4/25/04
to
On 24 Apr 2004 23:59:46 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>
>What I'm wrestling with somewhat at the moment, is the word order of
>verbs and adverbs. I'll give some examples:
>
>I am probably going home tomorrow. (Is 'probably' correctly placed?

Yes, that sounds natural and normal to me as a native English speaker.

>Can tomorrow be both at the end and the beginning of the sentence?)

Yes, but putting 'tomorrow' at the beginning for emphasis. (Assuming
you meant 'either..the end or beginning' not 'end and beginning'.
"Tomorrow I am probably going home tomorrow" would be very strange!)

>I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
>You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).

I would normally (!) put 'probably' after 'am' and 'will', but the way
you have could be acceptable. It depends on how the words are
stressed, and the shade of meaning you are trying to convey. There is
no definite rule forbidding the placing of 'tomorrow' at the
beginning, and it's easy to think of circumstances in which you would
not place 'probably' in its standard position. For example, if there
had been some doubt as to whether you were going to go home tomorrow,
you might say 'I probably _am_ going home tomorrow' -- stressing the
'am'. English is complicated!

And of course there's always:
I'm going home, probably tomorrow.
Tomorrow, I'm going home-- probably.
etc

>
>Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)

No, this is a regular expression:
$new_body =
preg_replace("/(<\?php)|(<\?)|(\?>)|(#!)|(<%)|(%>)|(<script)|(<\/script>)/","
",$text);

;-)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 8:53:07 AM4/25/04
to
In message <news:XNYgc.3304$8N4.31...@news-text.cableinet.net>
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> enriched us with:
>
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Book 2, Chapter 2: The Council of Elrond (PART 1 of 3)

I'm still impressed with the amount of work yopu've put into this, as
well as with the end result ;-)

<snip summary>

> Comments and thoughts [PART 1 ONLY]

<snip>

> 1) Elrond says that the Council was 'called hither':

[...]


> So what is this? Intervention by a divine power (Eru)?
> Co-incidence? Synchronicity?

I am unsure of whether 'Providence' can be ascribed to other than
divine agencies, but it is a convenient label to attach to this kind of
'intervention' in LotR.

It is not clear who did the 'ordering', but that it was no co-incidence
is, IMO, clear. During the book, and Tolkien's comments, we have clear
examples of both the Valar and Eru himself taking an interest in the
quest (the Valar most directly by the Istari, but Faramir and Boromir's
dream also feels to me more like Valarian than something from Eru), and
determining exactly who did the ordering may be a vain effort.

However, sending the Istari were at first the plan of the Valar, "...
but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of
its failure." (letter #156) This could be read to imply that Eru didn't
involve himself before this point, which would mean that the gathering
of the members of the council was ordered by the Valar.

> There are many other references in this chapter and the book to
> some overall plan or guiding power.

Definitely.

It is, I believe, an important part of the story. But part of this is,
IMO, also that while the plan was there, the actors chosen had to
follow the plan of their own Free Will. The plan would not work if
anyone were forced to act against their will, and thus Gandalf (and
Elrond etc.) who recognised the signs of the plan, could only sit
quietly and wait for Frodo to make that choice at the end of the
council.

> Remember that Boromir was sent by a dream from the West,

Agreed.

> but how do you explain the rest of the Council being there?

Somewhere in letters we learn that Frodo was given grace to accept the
quest. I imagine that some of the others were prodded on in a similar,
though perhaps even more veiled, fashion. The Dwarves in Erebor
suddenly decided that enough was enough and that Bilbo (and Elrond) had
to be warned. Thranduil decided to send his son to warn Elrond and
Gandalf of Gollum's escape (though no doubt he could have done this
directly by ósanwe). In this I see a gentle prodding to ensure that
these people are present at the council; arriving, no doubt, over a
period of time, but not greater than they were willing to wait for the
council.

> Does this work? Could the material in this chapter have been
> presented in a different or a better way? Is this chapter too
> long-winded? Should more or less of the material have been placed
> in the appendices or elsewhere in the book?

I do think that Tolkien removed as much as he thought possible to the
appendices. Whether I agree? You are asking the converted here ;-) and
I definitely think it works (for me), though there's a lot of people
who just can't get into LotR, for which I think the history expositions
are partly responsible (a common complaint, in my experience, is that
Tolkien is too 'long-winded').

> (ii) Together with the previous chapter ('Many Meetings'), 'The
> Council of Elrond' forms an interlude, a dividing point between
> the 'flight _from_ danger' (between the Shire and Rivendell), and
> the 'quest _into_ danger' that follows. It forms a starting point
> for a new phase of the story.

This relates to the note Tolkien made in letter #131, and which I
quoted in another post: <Xns94D366E581...@62.243.74.163>
<http:google.vg/groups?selm=Xns94D366E581...@62.243.74.163>
<news:Xns94D366E581...@62.243.74.163> (that ought to satisfy
all readers <g>)

The point Tolkien makes here is Rivendell serves as a place of
contemplation and the preservation of lore. As such it provides not
only the necessary background for understanding the decisions and
directions taken, but also a place for making decisions and chosing
directions.

> It is an interlude that allows both the reader and Tolkien to draw
> their breath and assess where the story is going.
[...]
> In a sense, the metamorphosis of the 'sequel' to 'The Hobbit' has
> finished, and new characters are brought in and journeys to new
> lands can be planned by the author.

Wonderfully put. I agree.

In particular, I think that these two chapters provide a closure to
/The Hobbit/; we learn what happened in Dale and Erebor, what Gollum
did later etc. Part of this closes the story, and part of it provides a
starting point for new threads, which, as the main story does after the
Council, verges off in new directions, unforeseeable in /The Hobbit/.

<snip>

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

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the
opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
- Niels Bohr

the softrat

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 5:46:49 PM4/25/04
to
On 24 Apr 2004 23:59:46 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
>What I'm wrestling with somewhat at the moment, is the word order of
>verbs and adverbs. I'll give some examples:
>
>I am probably going home tomorrow. (Is 'probably' correctly placed?
>Can tomorrow be both at the end and the beginning of the sentence?)
>I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
>You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).
>
>Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
>
a) The placement of adverbs is mostly a stylistic thing. If there is a
'rule', I have forgotten it.
b) Generally 'correctly', nothing is placed 'within' the verb: 'am
going' is one verb: progressive tense. However people do it all the
time.
c) The position of 'tomorrow' depends upon the stress you want it to
have. First in the sentence or clause is a position of high stress,
i.e 'tomorrow', as opposed to some other day. At the end of the
sentence, 'tomorrow' is just informational. Certain temporal adverbs
always are at the beginning of their clause, e. g., 'when', 'then',
'since', etc.
d) Your final sentence is irregular: there is no finite verb.
'thanking' is a present participle or a gerund (they are the same in
modern English). 'thank' would be construed as 'I thank' and is
extremely common. ('I thank you' is considered stilted and archaic.)

HTH!

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--

"The race is not always to the swift, or the battle to the strong...but that is
the way to bet." Damon Runyan

Odysseus

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 7:25:26 PM4/25/04
to
Henriette wrote:
>
> What I'm wrestling with somewhat at the moment, is the word order of
> verbs and adverbs. I'll give some examples:
>
> I am probably going home tomorrow. (Is 'probably' correctly placed?

Yes. In general there's a certain amount of flexibility in the
placement of adverbs, but idiom (which is hard to characterize
adequately with "rules") often favours one position over others.

> Can tomorrow be both at the end and the beginning of the sentence?)

Either, according to the desired emphasis. (Both would be redundant.)

> I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
> You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).
>

I think both are technically correct, but somewhat less idiomatic
than the first example: it's more usual in such cases to place the
adverb between the auxiliary verb and the main one (or, when there is
more than one auxiliary as in the first example, between the first
and second). Note also that the sentence can take on a different
nuance of meaning when "probably" is moved further from the subject,
for example "I am going home, probably tomorrow."

> Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
>

It is, but a complete sentence requires a principal verb: "Thank you
in advance." (The subject "I" is here understood.) In formal letters,
a conventional but old-fashioned style of closing might read
something like "Thanking you in advance, I remain your obedient
servant, X."

--
Odysseus

Odysseus

unread,
Apr 25, 2004, 7:44:41 PM4/25/04
to
the softrat wrote:
>
[snip]

> b) Generally 'correctly', nothing is placed 'within' the verb: 'am
> going' is one verb: progressive tense. However people do it all the
> time.

With good reason: there's nothing wrong with it. In his _Modern
English Usage_ Fowler writes,

"Not only is there no objection to thus splitting a compound verb,
but any other position for the adverb requires special justification:
_I have never seen her_, not _I never have seen her_, is the ordinary
idiom, though the rejected order becomes the right one if emphasis is
to be put on _have_ (_I may have had chances of seeing her but I
never have_). But it is plain [...] that a prejudice has grown up
against dividing compound verbs. It is probably a supposed corollary
of the accepted split-infinitive prohibition [which elsewhere he
calls a 'fetish' and a 'superstition']; at any rate, it is entirely unfounded."

--
Odysseus

Henriette

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 6:35:47 AM4/26/04
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<e14n80dbct7o762c2...@4ax.com>...

> > Henriette asks questions concerning the order of words in English:

> >I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
> >You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).
>
> I would normally (!) put 'probably' after 'am' and 'will', but the way
> you have could be acceptable. It depends on how the words are
> stressed, and the shade of meaning you are trying to convey.

Thank you.

There is a lot more freedom in the order than I expected. I vaguely
remember I was taught the adverb always goes before the verb in
English, when there is one verb. When there are two verbs, the adverb
goes in between. But I noticed before, that that is not at all what
happens in 'reality'. So the order depends on the shade of meaning one
is trying to convey. A great help:-) I'll trust to my intuition. It's
just that the order is so different in Dutch. In the examples at the
beginning of this post, that would be something like:

I go probably tomorrow to home.
You will probably tomorrow be called.

> >Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
>
> No, this is a regular expression:
> $new_body =
> preg_replace("/(<\?php)|(<\?)|(\?>)|(#!)|(<%)|(%>)|(<script)|(<\/script>)/","
> ",$text);
>
> ;-)

Is this a pun, or can my PC not cope with your regular expression?

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 6:49:00 AM4/26/04
to
the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<jp3o80tu3kd3pv60f...@4ax.com>...

(snip)


> b) Generally 'correctly', nothing is placed 'within' the verb: 'am
> going' is one verb: progressive tense. However people do it all the
> time.

I'm almost certain I was taught to always place the adverb within the
verb.

> c) The position of 'tomorrow' depends upon the stress you want it to
> have.

That one really makes sense to me.

> 'thank' would be construed as 'I thank' and is
> extremely common. ('I thank you' is considered stilted and archaic.)
>

So in a formal letter one could write: Thank you in advance?

'I thank you' for your reaction, softrat (nothing like bringing new
life into an archaic expression!)

Henrietta

Henriette

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 7:04:41 AM4/26/04
to
Odysseus <odysseu...@yahoo-dot.ca> wrote in message news:<408C4908...@yahoo-dot.ca>...

> Henriette wrote:
> >
> > I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
> > You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same questions).
> >
> I think both are technically correct, but somewhat less idiomatic
> than the first example: it's more usual in such cases to place the
> adverb between the auxiliary verb and the main one (or, when there is
> more than one auxiliary as in the first example, between the first
> and second).

Funny that the native speakers disagree somewhat here.

> > Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
> >
> It is, but a complete sentence requires a principal verb: "Thank you
> in advance." (The subject "I" is here understood.) In formal letters,
> a conventional but old-fashioned style of closing might read
> something like "Thanking you in advance, I remain your obedient
> servant, X."

LOL. In my former job, I sometimes had to write formal letters in
English. I was never sure how to end. Yours truly, yours faithfully,
yours sincerely: if you take the literal meaning it is plain nonsense!
Which one to choose, I had no idea of the connotations and
implications. One day I saw a superior write: 'Kind regards', and I
remained with that phrase ever since.

And Odysseus: thank you for your reaction.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 8:19:53 AM4/26/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<c6frtn$at4ch$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> > > T. <not going to the movie!>
> > H. <not going to THE movies!>
>
> You probably didn't think otherwise but to be sure, I meant the
> Pluk van de Petteflat-movie. Can't wait for the ROTK-EE.
>

No, I didn't think otherwise:-) I won't go either, although I really
admire Annie's sense of humour and capability with words. I
particularly like "Stekelvarkentje's wiegelied". The film can't
probably stand in the shadow of the books, as happened before with
another writer we know...

BTW I really enjoyed your phantasy posts on the brooch found by Tom. I
somehow did not expect that from a scientist:-)

H.

Pete Gray

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 1:24:07 PM4/26/04
to
On 26 Apr 2004 03:35:47 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>There is a lot more freedom in the order than I expected. I vaguely
>remember I was taught the adverb always goes before the verb in
>English, when there is one verb. When there are two verbs, the adverb

Some examples, all from within a few pages:
"Gollum reluctantly agreed to this...He quickened his pace, and they
followed him wearily...Looking out from the covert he could see only a
dun, shadowless world...but the light was now so dim that even a
keen-eyed beast of the wild could scarcely have seen the hobbits..."
(TT, Journey to the Crossroads)

>goes in between. But I noticed before, that that is not at all what
>happens in 'reality'. So the order depends on the shade of meaning one
>is trying to convey. A great help:-) I'll trust to my intuition.

A good idea!

>It's
>just that the order is so different in Dutch. In the examples at the
>beginning of this post, that would be something like:
>
>I go probably tomorrow to home.
>You will probably tomorrow be called.

Is Dutch very strict about this word order? Or could you say 'I go
home tomorrow probably'?

>> >Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
>>
>> No, this is a regular expression:
>> $new_body =
>> preg_replace("/(<\?php)|(<\?)|(\?>)|(#!)|(<%)|(%>)|(<script)|(<\/script>)/","
>> ",$text);
>>
>> ;-)
>
>Is this a pun, or can my PC not cope with your regular expression?
>

A pun, but a feeble one, "a regular expression is a pattern describing
a certain amount of text"
<http://www.regular-expressions.info/tutorial.html>
My example was a simple pattern match in PHP, using a regular
expression to replace occurrences of particular text characters in a
variable IYSWIM.

Pete Gray

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 1:50:57 PM4/26/04
to
On Mon, 26 Apr 2004 17:33:50 +0100, Alison <news....@ntlworld.com>
wrote:

>On 26 Apr 2004 04:04:41 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
>
>>LOL. In my former job, I sometimes had to write formal letters in
>>English. I was never sure how to end. Yours truly, yours faithfully,
>>yours sincerely: if you take the literal meaning it is plain nonsense!
>>Which one to choose, I had no idea of the connotations and
>>implications. One day I saw a superior write: 'Kind regards', and I
>>remained with that phrase ever since.
>

>The rule for formal letters is simple. If you know the addressee's
>name (e.g. Dear Mrs Smith), then it's a matter of sincerity, so you
>sign off "Yours sincerely". If you don't know their name (e.g. Dear
>Madam), then it's a matter of faith. so you sign off "Yours
>faithfully".
>

We actually have guidelines on this at work: we are always sincere,
but never faithful. Make of that what you will.

Rich Gibbs

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 1:06:24 PM4/26/04
to
Henriette said the following, on 04/26/04 06:35:
[snip]

>>>Thanking you in advance, (is that a regular expression?)
>>
>>No, this is a regular expression:
>>$new_body =
>>preg_replace("/(<\?php)|(<\?)|(\?>)|(#!)|(<%)|(%>)|(<script)|(<\/script>)/","
>>",$text);
>>
>>;-)
>
>
> Is this a pun, or can my PC not cope with your regular expression?
>

It's a pun of sorts, or at least a play on words. A "regular
expression" in a computer context, especially a Unix/Linux one, is an
expression used for pattern matching against text. The filename
"wildcards" (such as 'MY*.TXT') used in MS-DOS or Windows are a very
simple example.


--
Rich Gibbs
rgi...@his.com

TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 3:12:26 PM4/26/04
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in
news:2qiq805osgfuk6jkq...@4ax.com:

Where I work we are Sincere or Thankful, have Regards and
occasional Regrets, almost never are Yours or Faithful. Once in
a great while we will Wish you the Best. In most documents we
are simply the signator, with name and title below signature.

I have a style guide for business letter writers which I refer
to when dealing with letters to politicians, business executives
and etc. There are quite a few similar guides available (in
english, at least) and all of them are fairly standard with
regards to text layout and salutation and signature.

--
mc

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 3:16:28 PM4/26/04
to
TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I have a style guide for business letter writers which I refer
> to when dealing with letters to politicians, business executives
> and etc. There are quite a few similar guides available (in
> english, at least) and all of them are fairly standard with
> regards to text layout and salutation and signature.

And while we are on the topic, don't forget the formal guidelines for
addressing titled aristocracy, reverend clergy, royalty, and diplomats
and other government people, both in letters and in person.

Enough to make your head spin.

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard


Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 3:33:51 PM4/26/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message

> > You probably didn't think otherwise but to be sure, I
> > meant the Pluk van de Petteflat-movie. Can't wait for
> > the ROTK-EE.
> No, I didn't think otherwise:-) I won't go either,
> although I really admire Annie's sense of humour and capability
with words.
> I particularly like "Stekelvarkentje's wiegelied".

" Maar jijij hebt allemaal steeeeekeltjes..." :-)

> The film can't probably stand in the shadow of the books, as
happened
> before with another writer we know...

Yes, but that one was at least good to look at.

> BTW I really enjoyed your phantasy posts on the brooch
> found by Tom. I somehow did not expect that from a scientist:-)

It beats torturing bacteria.

T.


Jette Goldie

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 3:37:15 PM4/26/04
to

"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:gedjc.2510$O32.19...@news-text.cableinet.net...

> TeaLady (Mari C.) <spres...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > I have a style guide for business letter writers which I refer
> > to when dealing with letters to politicians, business executives
> > and etc. There are quite a few similar guides available (in
> > english, at least) and all of them are fairly standard with
> > regards to text layout and salutation and signature.
>
> And while we are on the topic, don't forget the formal guidelines for
> addressing titled aristocracy, reverend clergy, royalty, and diplomats
> and other government people, both in letters and in person.
>
> Enough to make your head spin.

But clearly laid out in my dictionary <g>


--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/


Taemon

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 4:16:02 PM4/26/04
to
Henriette wrote:

> > > I probably am going home tomorrow. (Same questions)
> > > You probably will be called tomorrow. (Same
> > > questions).

> Funny that the native speakers disagree somewhat here.

Didn't everyone sort of agree on the most idiomatic (?) order? "I
am probably going..." sounds best to me, so I'm eager to be
assured :-)

T.


Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 5:14:58 PM4/26/04
to
"Alison" <news....@ntlworld.com> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>The rule for formal letters is simple. If you know the addressee's
>name (e.g. Dear Mrs Smith), then it's a matter of sincerity, so you
>sign off "Yours sincerely". If you don't know their name (e.g. Dear
>Madam), then it's a matter of faith. so you sign off "Yours
>faithfully".

That is emphatically _not_ the US rule. Like "how do you do". letter
forms here are just that, forms. They have nothing whatever to do
with the literal meanings of the words.

"Sincerely yours" (sometimes "Yours sincerely") is the close for a
personal letter, and "Very truly yours" for a business letter. They
don't mean that the writer is offering him/herself to the reader,
and a person who writes "Sincerely yours" is not being more sincere
than one who writes "Very truly yours". "Sincerely" is not standard
practice in a business letter, whether the writer knows the
addressee or not.

The only exceptions are the special forms in letters to high
government officials and religious officials, or to foreign royalty
or nobility.

"Yours faithfully" sounds nearly as odd to US ears as "I beg you to
accept, esteemed Sir, the profoundest expression of my eternal
respect and affection."

--
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/genl/faqget.htm

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 5:16:40 PM4/26/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Didn't everyone sort of agree on the most idiomatic (?) order? "I
>am probably going..." sounds best to me, so I'm eager to be
>assured :-)

Consider yourself assured.

Especially in speech, I'd probably say "I'm probably going" or "I'll
probably go", rather than the slightly more formal "I am probably
going". But either way, the adverb is natural between the auxiliary
and the main verb.

Pete Gray

unread,
Apr 26, 2004, 5:27:04 PM4/26/04
to
On 26 Apr 2004 03:49:00 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<jp3o80tu3kd3pv60f...@4ax.com>...
>
>(snip)
>> b) Generally 'correctly', nothing is placed 'within' the verb: 'am
>> going' is one verb: progressive tense. However people do it all the
>> time.
>

If there ever were such a rule, it sounds to me as if it was one of
those 18th/19th century derived-from-Latin rules (like not splitting
infinitives) that has damn-all to do with English.

>I'm almost certain I was taught to always place the adverb within the
>verb.

Generally safe, but not always essential.

>> 'thank' would be construed as 'I thank' and is
>> extremely common. ('I thank you' is considered stilted and archaic.)
>>
>So in a formal letter one could write: Thank you in advance?

I've never seen that, but you do see (UK at least) 'Thank you in
anticipation'

the softrat

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 1:58:54 AM4/27/04
to
On 26 Apr 2004 03:49:00 -0700, in alt.fan.tolkien held...@hotmail.com

(Henriette) wrote:
>
>So in a formal letter one could write: Thank you in advance?
>
Well, except that the whole phrase has a contemporary, casual,
formulaic air about it. In a formal letter, one would merely say, "I
thank you." The 'in advance' is obvious, if true, and redundant. There
is nothing especially virtuous about thanking someone in advance; it
done all the time, except to nerdish computer-types who have known
communication skill problems. When I address that milieu, I use it,
with my tongue not firmly in my cheek. Otherwise , ....

the softrat
"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--

God? I'm no God! God has MERCY!

the softrat

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 1:58:54 AM4/27/04
to
On 26 Apr 2004 04:04:41 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
>LOL. In my former job, I sometimes had to write formal letters in
>English. I was never sure how to end. Yours truly, yours faithfully,
>yours sincerely: if you take the literal meaning it is plain nonsense!

Why? Didn't you faithfully and sincerely mean what you said? Were you
intentionally lying or attempting to mislead the recipients? It is an
old polite elliptical formula, but it is not nonsense, or at least
should not be. ('elliptical' - 'words left out')

the softrat

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 1:58:55 AM4/27/04
to

Are we English speakers to believe that all speakers of Netherlandic
use exactly the same words and word order to express their ideas?
WOWSERS!

Stan Brown

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 10:32:21 AM4/27/04
to
"Pete Gray" <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in
rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>On 26 Apr 2004 03:49:00 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
>>the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<jp3o80tu3kd3pv60f...@4ax.com>...
>>> b) Generally 'correctly', nothing is placed 'within' the verb: 'am
>>> going' is one verb: progressive tense. However people do it all the
>>> time.
>
>If there ever were such a rule, it sounds to me as if it was one of
>those 18th/19th century derived-from-Latin rules (like not splitting
>infinitives) that has damn-all to do with English.

That's just Softrat making things up as he goes along -- like his
claim that the distinction between "will" and "shall" was made up in
the 18th century. I can assure you that there is no such rule, and
never was.

>>I'm almost certain I was taught to always place the adverb within the
>>verb.
>
>Generally safe, but not always essential.

Sometimes not safe. To place the adverb between "am" and "going" is
fine; to place it between "to" and "place" is a split infinitive.
Opinions vary about split infinitives, but most careful writers
avoid them unless they're trying for a particular effect.

Whether you agree with the rule about split infinitives or not, a
substantial number of people do think they're wrong. Splitting the
infinitive tends to make them focus on your grammar rather than your
message, and that's usually a bad thing.

Pete Gray

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 12:28:50 PM4/27/04
to
On Tue, 27 Apr 2004 10:32:21 -0400, Stan Brown
<the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:

>"Pete Gray" <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in
>rec.arts.books.tolkien:
>>On 26 Apr 2004 03:49:00 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>>
>>>I'm almost certain I was taught to always place the adverb within the
>>>verb.
>>
>>Generally safe, but not always essential.
>
>Sometimes not safe. To place the adverb between "am" and "going" is
>fine; to place it between "to" and "place" is a split infinitive.
>Opinions vary about split infinitives, but most careful writers
>avoid them unless they're trying for a particular effect.
>

Ha! I forgot about infinitives. I have no particular problem with
split infinitives per se. I would rather judge each occurrence on its
merits, on how it sounded. Of course I do have my own grammar hates,
too. My especial bete noire of the moment is the downgrading of
'enormity' to mean mere bigness, although it does afford me occasional
secret amusement too.

>Whether you agree with the rule about split infinitives or not, a

I certainly wouldn't agree that there is any such rule in English
grammar.

>substantial number of people do think they're wrong. Splitting the
>infinitive tends to make them focus on your grammar rather than your
>message, and that's usually a bad thing.

Too much bad, bad teaching in the past. They deserve to be soundly
beaten. One could always reinforce the lesson with the clue iron
<http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/clueiron/>.

Henriette

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 1:38:14 PM4/27/04
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:

> " Maar jijij hebt allemaal steeeeekeltjes..." :-)

Je kent het!

> Yes, but that one was at least good to look at.

Ssssssssssssssssssst!
>
> It beats torturing bacteria.
>
Barbarian!

H.

Henriette

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 1:51:24 PM4/27/04
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<n2gq809hf6lj596hr...@4ax.com>...

>
> Some examples, all from within a few pages:
> "Gollum reluctantly agreed to this...He quickened his pace, and they
> followed him wearily...Looking out from the covert he could see only a
> dun, shadowless world...but the light was now so dim that even a
> keen-eyed beast of the wild could scarcely have seen the hobbits..."
> (TT, Journey to the Crossroads)

Thank you for the examples, although they leave me with a feeling of
no longer having anything to hold on to:-)


>
> Is Dutch very strict about this word order? Or could you say 'I go
> home tomorrow probably'?

LOL, well ofcourse you could always try and so raise a few eyebrows...
Word order is one of the assets that gives the 'stranger' away, and
after these discussions here I realise we have less freedom in word
order than English has. Although we can vary somewhat to convey
different meanings: *Tomorrow* go I probably home:-)


>
> A pun, but a feeble one, "a regular expression is a pattern describing
> a certain amount of text"
> <http://www.regular-expressions.info/tutorial.html>
> My example was a simple pattern match in PHP, using a regular
> expression to replace occurrences of particular text characters in a
> variable IYSWIM.

Thank you for explaining!

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 2:17:02 PM4/27/04
to
Pete Gray <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message news:<gdfq80tvukq836vfr...@4ax.com>...

> On 26 Apr 2004 03:49:00 -0700, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >I'm almost certain I was taught to always place the adverb within the
> >verb.
>
> Generally safe, but not always essential.
>
At least some small guideline!

> >So in a formal letter one could write: Thank you in advance?
>
> I've never seen that, but you do see (UK at least) 'Thank you in
> anticipation'

Thank you. I already had the idea one colleague had made the 'ín
advance' sentence up.
It is the translation of an expression used often in Dutch formal
letters ("Bij voorbaat hartelijk dank"), when you're asking someone to
do something which they could and might refuse. So we could say: Thank
you, but we don't even know they will do as we asked. We consider it
polite to add "in anticipation":-)

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 27, 2004, 2:28:34 PM4/27/04
to
the softrat <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message news:<5qkr80d4gs82dmiba...@4ax.com>...

> Are we English speakers to believe that all speakers of Netherlandic
> use exactly the same words and word order to express their ideas?
> WOWSERS!
>

There is more freedom in the use of words, even the making up of
words, than in the word order. Ordnung muss sein!

Henrietta