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#1: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-05-26 05:27:01 by morgothscurse2002

On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 08:45:52 -0500, &quot;Gorbag&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:gorbag&#64;invalid.acct" target="_blank">gorbag&#64;invalid.acct</a>&gt;
wrote:

&gt;&gt; Indeed. I would have thought that the Estate would have been thrilled
&gt;&gt; at the opportunity to redeem J.R.R. Tolkien's reputation after it was
&gt;&gt; so thoroughly trashed by Peter Jackson.
&gt;
&gt;Huh? In what sense did the movies trash Tolkien's reputation? If anything
&gt;I've found it's brought more folks to be interested in the books (in my neck
&gt;of the woods). As adaptations go, it was not that bad; there have been and
&gt;probably will be worse. At any rate, I've yet to hear (or hear of) anyone,
&gt;upon seeing the movies, make a claim that Tolkien was not a good
&gt;writer/storyteller/Professor of Medieval Literature?
&gt;
Scholars (and J.R.R. Tolkien himself) have long lamented that his
reputation and success as a fantasy writer overshadowed his academic
achievements--notably &quot;Beowulf&quot; and &quot;Sir Gawain&quot; but also including
such more obscure works as &quot;Pearl&quot; and &quot;Sir Orfeo.&quot; (Others more
versed in Tolkien's scholarly achievements--Wayne Hammond and Larry
Swain to name just two--can provide a more complete list.)

There is, of course, a small minority of fans who found LOTR riveting
and sought out Tolkien's other works, but their impact will never be
significant. For all practical purposes, Tolkien's reputation as
strictly a fantasy writer is now permanently (and perhaps justifiably)
established.

I was also referring to the people who had no idea that the movie was
an adaptation or who assumed that Jackson's version was accurate, but
that point has already been discussed to the death here and I will not
resurrect it.

Morgoth's Curse

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#2: Threads that have finished (Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments)

Posted on 2006-05-26 11:57:59 by Stan Brown

Fri, 26 May 2006 03:27:01 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 08:45:52 -0500, &quot;Gorbag&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:gorbag&#64;invalid.acct" target="_blank">gorbag&#64;invalid.acct</a>&gt;
&gt; wrote:

Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? One I
could understand, maybe, if you found it particularly interesting and
had some wonderful new insight, but you've posted a lot of followups
to very old threads all at once.

Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?

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

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#3: Re: Threads that have finished (Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments)

Posted on 2006-05-27 00:49:40 by Leon Trollski

&quot;Stan Brown&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:MPG.1ee09b2eb78bca7598a4e2&#64;news.individual.net..." target="_blank">MPG.1ee09b2eb78bca7598a4e2&#64;news.individual.net...</a>
&gt; Fri, 26 May 2006 03:27:01 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt; @nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; &gt; On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 08:45:52 -0500, &quot;Gorbag&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:gorbag&#64;invalid.acct" target="_blank">gorbag&#64;invalid.acct</a>&gt;
&gt; &gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? One I
&gt; could understand, maybe, if you found it particularly interesting and
&gt; had some wonderful new insight, but you've posted a lot of followups
&gt; to very old threads all at once.
&gt;
&gt; Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
&gt; their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?
&gt;


I ask, with all disrespect, that you're not the newsgroup police. I'd like
to hear more of this. If you don't like it, plonk the offenders.

Report this message

#4: Re: Threads that have finished (Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments)

Posted on 2006-05-27 10:27:35 by Christopher Kreuzer

Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; Fri, 26 May 2006 03:27:01 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt; @nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt;&gt; On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 08:45:52 -0500, &quot;Gorbag&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:gorbag&#64;invalid.acct" target="_blank">gorbag&#64;invalid.acct</a>&gt;
&gt;&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? One I
&gt; could understand, maybe, if you found it particularly interesting and
&gt; had some wonderful new insight, but you've posted a lot of followups
&gt; to very old threads all at once.
&gt;
&gt; Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
&gt; their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?

I still don't understand the difference between bringing something up as
a reply to an old thread either:

a) Within the threading structure of the old thread
b) As an entirely new post, still quoting the old thread

To my mind, (a) has the advantage of preserving the thread, providing
that certain newsreaders and the like can cope with it, and (b) has the
disadvantage of breaking a discussion over several threads - though this
happens over the years anyway (some topics semm to come up again and
again).

Would you be happy with option (b)?

Christopher

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

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#5: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-05-27 11:20:00 by Christopher Kreuzer

Morgoth's Curse &lt;<a href="mailto:morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com" target="_blank">morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com</a>&gt; wrote:

&lt;snip&gt;

&gt; Scholars (and J.R.R. Tolkien himself) have long lamented that his
&gt; reputation and success as a fantasy writer overshadowed his academic
&gt; achievements--notably &quot;Beowulf&quot; and &quot;Sir Gawain&quot; but also including
&gt; such more obscure works as &quot;Pearl&quot; and &quot;Sir Orfeo.&quot; (Others more
&gt; versed in Tolkien's scholarly achievements--Wayne Hammond and Larry
&gt; Swain to name just two--can provide a more complete list.)

I've been reading about his scholarly accomplishments lately (in that
book - /The Ring of Words/), and they are actually rather impressive,
though you do have to remember that Tolkien's career did develop in the
vacuum left after many of his generation died in the First World War -
more opportunities, but I don't doubt Tolkien would still have had an
impressive career.

After the First World War he worked at the OED as one of many assistants
to one of the four editors. This grounding in lexicography and the
chance to practice his philology was invaluable to him - he said he
learnt more during this period (it was about two years) than any other
similar period in his life.

I also get the impression that, after an initial training period, his
expertise in the Germanic languages was recognised and his later OED
work was left largely unchanged (though sometimes edited for space
considerations!), and words with particularly difficult or obscure
Germanic etymology were left for him to deal with (though only from the
area of the alphabet being worked on at that time of course - work had
been progressing on the OED for decades).

But the really impressive achievement by Tolkien seems to have been his
work on producing a glossary of Middle English. This started as work on
a glossary meant to be published with a book by a colleague (and former
tutor) Kenneth Sisam. The book was /Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose/
(1921). In the end, Tolkien's glossary was published separately as /A
Middle English Vocabulary/ (1922). This contains 4740 entries and nearly
6800 definitions, with 15000 text references and 1900 cross-references
(all stats from /The Ring of Words/). A lot of this work depended on the
OED, but required rewriting and extending the OED entries.

The authors of /The Ring of Words/ estimate that this was the equivalent
of 9 months full-time work, and describe the resulting work as &quot;a
glossary that is unparalleled for its concision, informativeness and
accuracy&quot;.

After this, Tolkien's career spanned three professorships (Leeds,
Rawlinson Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon [Oxford], and Merton
Professor of English Language and Literature [Oxford]).

There are also the texts mentioned above: Sir Gawain, Pearl and Sir
Orfeo, plus the seminal essay on Beowulf criticism.

Other works are included in the list here:

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#Academic_and_other_works" target="_blank"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#Academic_and_other_work s</a>

A few other academic works appear in the &quot;posthumously published works&quot;
section.

An even more complete list (not just academic) is here:

<a href="http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html" target="_blank">http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html</a>

Tolkien also received several honorary doctorates in the 1950s for his
academic work. The later honorary awards and doctorates in the 1970s
were largely for his work as an author of fiction.

Finally, Tolkien's academic legacy can also be seen in the work and
output of his students. The only ones I can remember offhand are Mary
Salu and Robert Burchfield. In the 1950s, Birchfield was chosen to be
the editor of a later supplement (updating) to the OED - Birchfield
referred to Tolkien as &quot;My Hero&quot; in an article published in 1989!

&gt; There is, of course, a small minority of fans who found LOTR riveting
&gt; and sought out Tolkien's other works, but their impact will never be
&gt; significant. For all practical purposes, Tolkien's reputation as
&gt; strictly a fantasy writer is now permanently (and perhaps justifiably)
&gt; established.

Though it is nice to think that people may still, while engaged in
research on matters medieval and Anglo-Saxon, come across the name
Tolkien and experience a pleasant thrill of recognition! :-)

Christopher

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

Report this message

#6: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-05-29 00:46:24 by TT Arvind

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

&gt; After this, Tolkien's career spanned three professorships (Leeds,
&gt; Rawlinson Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon [Oxford], and Merton
&gt; Professor of English Language and Literature [Oxford]).

Tolkien had an international reputation as a scholar. The University
of Madras in India badgered him for a while to accept an examinership
in mediaeval English studies (he refused). The Senate of Madras
University in those days was not the sort of place where the LoTR was
likely to have been read, so the offer was most probably made entirely
based on his scholarly reputation.

--
Arvind

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#7: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-05-29 01:15:36 by BaJoRi

&quot;TT Arvind&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:ttarvind&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">ttarvind&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1148856384.499003.293240&#64;j73g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1148856384.499003.293240&#64;j73g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt; Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt; After this, Tolkien's career spanned three professorships (Leeds,
&gt;&gt; Rawlinson Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon [Oxford], and Merton
&gt;&gt; Professor of English Language and Literature [Oxford]).
&gt;
&gt; Tolkien had an international reputation as a scholar. The University
&gt; of Madras in India badgered him for a while to accept an examinership
&gt; in mediaeval English studies (he refused). The Senate of Madras
&gt; University in those days was not the sort of place where the LoTR was
&gt; likely to have been read, so the offer was most probably made entirely
&gt; based on his scholarly reputation.
&gt;
&gt; --
&gt; Arvind
&gt;
Tolkien was THE foremost authority on Holinshed, from which Shakespeare
culled several of his plays, including MacBeth, which was taken from
Holinshed's Chronicles almost verbatim.

Report this message

#8: Re: Threads that have finished (Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments)

Posted on 2006-05-29 22:09:21 by Flame of the West

Stan Brown wrote:

&gt; Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
&gt; their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?

Like a Balrog. Do not awaken the nameless fear!


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.

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#9: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-05-29 22:35:10 by Christopher Kreuzer

BaJoRi &lt;<a href="mailto:bajori&#64;cbg.com" target="_blank">bajori&#64;cbg.com</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; &quot;TT Arvind&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:ttarvind&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">ttarvind&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:<a href="mailto:1148856384.499003.293240&#64;j73g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1148856384.499003.293240&#64;j73g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt;&gt; Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt; After this, Tolkien's career spanned three professorships (Leeds,
&gt;&gt;&gt; Rawlinson Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon [Oxford], and Merton
&gt;&gt;&gt; Professor of English Language and Literature [Oxford]).
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Tolkien had an international reputation as a scholar. The University
&gt;&gt; of Madras in India badgered him for a while to accept an examinership
&gt;&gt; in mediaeval English studies (he refused). The Senate of Madras
&gt;&gt; University in those days was not the sort of place where the LoTR was
&gt;&gt; likely to have been read, so the offer was most probably made
&gt;&gt; entirely based on his scholarly reputation.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; --
&gt;&gt; Arvind
&gt;&gt;
&gt; Tolkien was THE foremost authority on Holinshed, from which
&gt; Shakespeare culled several of his plays, including MacBeth, which was
&gt; taken from Holinshed's Chronicles almost verbatim.

Really? Sounds interesting. Where dod you read this?

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#10: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-27 20:06:18 by morgothscurse2002

On Sat, 27 May 2006 09:20:00 GMT, &quot;Christopher Kreuzer&quot;
&lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;Morgoth's Curse &lt;<a href="mailto:morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com" target="_blank">morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&lt;snip&gt;
&gt;
&gt;&gt; Scholars (and J.R.R. Tolkien himself) have long lamented that his
&gt;&gt; reputation and success as a fantasy writer overshadowed his academic
&gt;&gt; achievements--notably &quot;Beowulf&quot; and &quot;Sir Gawain&quot; but also including
&gt;&gt; such more obscure works as &quot;Pearl&quot; and &quot;Sir Orfeo.&quot; (Others more
&gt;&gt; versed in Tolkien's scholarly achievements--Wayne Hammond and Larry
&gt;&gt; Swain to name just two--can provide a more complete list.)
&gt;
&gt;I've been reading about his scholarly accomplishments lately (in that
&gt;book - /The Ring of Words/), and they are actually rather impressive,
&gt;though you do have to remember that Tolkien's career did develop in the
&gt;vacuum left after many of his generation died in the First World War -
&gt;more opportunities, but I don't doubt Tolkien would still have had an
&gt;impressive career.

Thanks for providing a far more eloquent exposition of my point than
anything that I could produce, Chris. ;-) This is a very fascinating
post.
&gt;
&gt;After the First World War he worked at the OED as one of many assistants
&gt;to one of the four editors. This grounding in lexicography and the
&gt;chance to practice his philology was invaluable to him - he said he
&gt;learnt more during this period (it was about two years) than any other
&gt;similar period in his life.
&gt;
&gt;I also get the impression that, after an initial training period, his
&gt;expertise in the Germanic languages was recognised and his later OED
&gt;work was left largely unchanged (though sometimes edited for space
&gt;considerations!), and words with particularly difficult or obscure
&gt;Germanic etymology were left for him to deal with (though only from the
&gt;area of the alphabet being worked on at that time of course - work had
&gt;been progressing on the OED for decades).
&gt;
&gt;But the really impressive achievement by Tolkien seems to have been his
&gt;work on producing a glossary of Middle English. This started as work on
&gt;a glossary meant to be published with a book by a colleague (and former
&gt;tutor) Kenneth Sisam. The book was /Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose/
&gt;(1921). In the end, Tolkien's glossary was published separately as /A
&gt;Middle English Vocabulary/ (1922). This contains 4740 entries and nearly
&gt;6800 definitions, with 15000 text references and 1900 cross-references
&gt;(all stats from /The Ring of Words/). A lot of this work depended on the
&gt;OED, but required rewriting and extending the OED entries.

I knew that Tolkien had worked on the OED, but I never knew about &quot;A
Middle English Vocabulary.&quot; I wonder if the Tolkien estate still
holds the copyright or if that book can still found in rare book
shops?
&gt;
&gt;The authors of /The Ring of Words/ estimate that this was the equivalent
&gt;of 9 months full-time work, and describe the resulting work as &quot;a
&gt;glossary that is unparalleled for its concision, informativeness and
&gt;accuracy&quot;.
&gt;
&gt;After this, Tolkien's career spanned three professorships (Leeds,
&gt;Rawlinson Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon [Oxford], and Merton
&gt;Professor of English Language and Literature [Oxford]).
&gt;
&gt;There are also the texts mentioned above: Sir Gawain, Pearl and Sir
&gt;Orfeo, plus the seminal essay on Beowulf criticism.
&gt;
&gt;Other works are included in the list here:
&gt;
&gt;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#Academic_and_other_works" target="_blank"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolkien#Academic_and_other_work s</a>
&gt;
&gt;A few other academic works appear in the &quot;posthumously published works&quot;
&gt;section.
&gt;
&gt;An even more complete list (not just academic) is here:
&gt;
&gt;<a href="http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html" target="_blank">http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html</a>

Thanks especially for this link! I lost this link when I had to
reformat my hard drive a couple of years ago.
&gt;
&gt;Tolkien also received several honorary doctorates in the 1950s for his
&gt;academic work. The later honorary awards and doctorates in the 1970s
&gt;were largely for his work as an author of fiction.

I wonder if Tolkien valued these honorary awards or he dismissed them
as a symptom of the &quot;deplorable cultus&quot; that he detested. I think
there is a reference to it in Letters, but I can't recall which
offhand.
&gt;
&gt;Finally, Tolkien's academic legacy can also be seen in the work and
&gt;output of his students. The only ones I can remember offhand are Mary
&gt;Salu and Robert Burchfield. In the 1950s, Birchfield was chosen to be
&gt;the editor of a later supplement (updating) to the OED - Birchfield
&gt;referred to Tolkien as &quot;My Hero&quot; in an article published in 1989!
&gt;
&gt;&gt; There is, of course, a small minority of fans who found LOTR riveting
&gt;&gt; and sought out Tolkien's other works, but their impact will never be
&gt;&gt; significant. For all practical purposes, Tolkien's reputation as
&gt;&gt; strictly a fantasy writer is now permanently (and perhaps justifiably)
&gt;&gt; established.
&gt;
&gt;Though it is nice to think that people may still, while engaged in
&gt;research on matters medieval and Anglo-Saxon, come across the name
&gt;Tolkien and experience a pleasant thrill of recognition! :-)

Or even the name Larry Swain! ;-)


Morgoth's Curse

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#11: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-27 21:55:43 by Larry Swain

Morgoth's Curse wrote:

&gt;
&gt; I knew that Tolkien had worked on the OED, but I never knew about &quot;A
&gt; Middle English Vocabulary.&quot; I wonder if the Tolkien estate still
&gt; holds the copyright or if that book can still found in rare book
&gt; shops?

You might have better luck looking for Fourteenth Century Verse and
Prose ed. by K Sisam. The later editions (I think the lastest was 1967)
include Tolkien's glossary in the back. But there were several reprints
and editions of this, so I'd be surprised if you can not find it. If
you can't, email me, I might see my way to photocopying and mailing it.



&gt;&gt;Though it is nice to think that people may still, while engaged in
&gt;&gt;research on matters medieval and Anglo-Saxon, come across the name
&gt;&gt;Tolkien and experience a pleasant thrill of recognition! :-)
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Or even the name Larry Swain! ;-)

Ah, now, MC, you're gonna make me blush! Now if only I could be known
as a Tolkien scholar......

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#12: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-28 03:40:31 by Noh Phu Ling

Morgoth's Curse wrote:
&gt; On Sat, 27 May 2006 09:20:00 GMT, &quot;Christopher Kreuzer&quot;
&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt;
&gt;&gt;Morgoth's Curse &lt;<a href="mailto:morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com" target="_blank">morgothscurse2002&#64;nospam.yahoo.com</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&lt;snip&gt;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt;Scholars (and J.R.R. Tolkien himself) have long lamented that his
&gt;&gt;&gt;reputation and success as a fantasy writer overshadowed his academic
&gt;&gt;&gt;achievements--notably &quot;Beowulf&quot; and &quot;Sir Gawain&quot; but also including
&gt;&gt;&gt;such more obscure works as &quot;Pearl&quot; and &quot;Sir Orfeo.&quot; (Others more
&gt;&gt;&gt;versed in Tolkien's scholarly achievements--Wayne Hammond and Larry
&gt;&gt;&gt;Swain to name just two--can provide a more complete list.)

If it provides you any ease, my Anglo-Saxon professor at univeristy
studied his Anglo-Saxon under the good JRRT.

Pete Hilton

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#13: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-28 12:53:58 by Stan Brown

Tue, 27 Jun 2006 18:06:18 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; On Sat, 27 May 2006 09:20:00 GMT, &quot;Christopher Kreuzer&quot;
&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; &gt;I've been reading about his scholarly accomplishments lately (in that
&gt; &gt;book - /The Ring of Words/), and they are actually rather impressive,
&gt; &gt;though you do have to remember that Tolkien's career did develop in the
&gt; &gt;vacuum left after many of his generation died in the First World War -
&gt; &gt;more opportunities, but I don't doubt Tolkien would still have had an
&gt; &gt;impressive career.

Somehow I overlooked Christopher's original, so I'm responding to the
quoted version

In terms of *teaching* accomplishments (as distinguished from
scholarly research), I think he was pretty amazing. Getting a whole
bunch of college students at U of Leeds to speak and read Anglo-Saxon
for the sheer joy of it could only be done by a dedicated and
inspirational teacher.

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

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#14: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-28 15:47:48 by Larry Swain

Stan Brown wrote:
&gt; Tue, 27 Jun 2006 18:06:18 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt; @nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt;
&gt;&gt;On Sat, 27 May 2006 09:20:00 GMT, &quot;Christopher Kreuzer&quot;
&gt;&gt;&lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt;I've been reading about his scholarly accomplishments lately (in that
&gt;&gt;&gt;book - /The Ring of Words/), and they are actually rather impressive,
&gt;&gt;&gt;though you do have to remember that Tolkien's career did develop in the
&gt;&gt;&gt;vacuum left after many of his generation died in the First World War -
&gt;&gt;&gt;more opportunities, but I don't doubt Tolkien would still have had an
&gt;&gt;&gt;impressive career.
&gt;
&gt;
&gt; Somehow I overlooked Christopher's original, so I'm responding to the
&gt; quoted version
&gt;
&gt; In terms of *teaching* accomplishments (as distinguished from
&gt; scholarly research), I think he was pretty amazing. Getting a whole
&gt; bunch of college students at U of Leeds to speak and read Anglo-Saxon
&gt; for the sheer joy of it could only be done by a dedicated and
&gt; inspirational teacher.
&gt;

I've heard various things about his teaching. I think some of it may
have depended on the context (in his rooms, or in a seminar sort of
setting, and in a lecture); but one of the things that comes through is
that a) he was fascinating and would often go off on tangents about, you
guessed it, words tracing a specific word's history before returning to
the text at hand (once at least taking an entire term to do the first
250 lines of a not quite 600 line poem!). The other thing I've heard
though is that he mumbled horribly and one had to work to follow him and
understand what he was saying.

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#15: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-28 19:46:15 by Matthew Bladen

On Wed, 28 Jun 2006 08:47:48 -0500, Larry Swain (<a href="mailto:theswain&#64;operamail.com" target="_blank">theswain&#64;operamail.com</a>)
said:

&gt; I've heard various things about his teaching. I think some of it may
&gt; have depended on the context (in his rooms, or in a seminar sort of
&gt; setting, and in a lecture); but one of the things that comes through is
&gt; that a) he was fascinating and would often go off on tangents about, you
&gt; guessed it, words tracing a specific word's history before returning to
&gt; the text at hand (once at least taking an entire term to do the first
&gt; 250 lines of a not quite 600 line poem!). The other thing I've heard
&gt; though is that he mumbled horribly and one had to work to follow him and
&gt; understand what he was saying.

Was it C. S. Lewis who said that Tolkien was &quot;an inspired speaker of
footnotes&quot;? It rather nicely sums up your first point.
--
Matthew

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#16: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-06-30 03:45:48 by Count Menelvagor

Matthew Bladen wrote:
&gt; On Wed, 28 Jun 2006 08:47:48 -0500, Larry Swain (<a href="mailto:theswain&#64;operamail.com" target="_blank">theswain&#64;operamail.com</a>)
&gt; said:
&gt;
&gt; &gt; I've heard various things about his teaching. I think some of it may
&gt; &gt; have depended on the context (in his rooms, or in a seminar sort of
&gt; &gt; setting, and in a lecture); but one of the things that comes through is
&gt; &gt; that a) he was fascinating and would often go off on tangents about, you
&gt; &gt; guessed it, words tracing a specific word's history before returning to
&gt; &gt; the text at hand (once at least taking an entire term to do the first
&gt; &gt; 250 lines of a not quite 600 line poem!). The other thing I've heard
&gt; &gt; though is that he mumbled horribly and one had to work to follow him and
&gt; &gt; understand what he was saying.
&gt;
&gt; Was it C. S. Lewis who said that Tolkien was &quot;an inspired speaker of
&gt; footnotes&quot;? It rather nicely sums up your first point.

i'm vaguely reminded of the fact that Smith of Wooton Major started out
as a preface. he started writing an allegory of the history of
fairy-tales, but got sidetracked. rather weird.

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#17: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-07-03 11:48:49 by Christopher Kreuzer

Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:

&lt;snip&gt;

&gt; In terms of *teaching* accomplishments (as distinguished from
&gt; scholarly research), I think he was pretty amazing.

I've recently found a fascinating essasy by Tom Shippey called
&quot;Tolkien's Academic Reputation Now&quot; (now being 1989) - which should
neatly address the &quot;scholarly research&quot; bit you mentioned.

[I know, I know, you were changing the subject to his teaching style and
ability, but I thought this was as good a place as any to jump in and
change the topic back again! :-) I did love the quote about Tolkien
talking in footnotes - I think I saw that again recently when reading
Carpenter's 'The Inklings' biography - really interesting read.]

Anyway, to get back to Shippey's essay: &quot;Tolkien's Academic Reputation
Now&quot;. It was published in November 1989 in Amon Hen 100, the hundredth
issue of Amon Hen, the bulletin of the Tolkien Society (Amon Hen is
coming up to issue 200 this month!), and later reprinted in &quot;The Best of
Amon Hen - Part Two&quot; (edited by Andrew Wells and published in 2002). Not
sure if the essay was ever published anywhere else as well.

The article is well worth reading in full (like anything by Shippey). He
starts by recalling the Inspector from 'Leaf by Niggle', which could be
seen as representing pressure in academia to publish papers. Shippey
then uses the Primary and Secondary Citations system to look at
Tolkien's academic output, which he lists as 25 items (including three
posthumous works).

The relevant bits for this thread is that some of Tolkien's works were
widely cited by other people, but some disappeared into obscurity. Some,
like the &quot;Middle English Vocabulary&quot;, became standard works and were
used (and still are?) by students for many years afterwards. Shippey
speculates that Tolkien's edition of 'Sir Gawain', in one form or
another, must have received thousands of citations over the years. &quot;On
Fairy Stories&quot; has also been widely cited, this time because of its
relevance to his works of fiction.

Shippey then identifies three works by Tolkien that &quot;rocked the
collective jaw of academe right back on its spine&quot; - the Ancrene Wisse
essay (on problems with dialects), the Monsters and the Critics (his
Beowulf essay), and the Homecoming of Beorhthnoth (the poem was
accompanied by essays discussing the Battle of Maldon).

Shippey then discusses the impact (then) and relevance now (in 1989) of
these works. He also laments that some of the other works might have had
a similar impact, but were not understood at the time, and that Tolkien
didn't push as hard as he could have done to get the issues debated when
he published them.

Now, that essay was written in 1989. I wonder how much things have
changed in the 17 years since then. What do scholars think of Tolkien's
work today?

Christopher

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

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#18: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-07-04 01:34:48 by pogues

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
&gt; Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt; &lt;snip&gt;
&gt;&gt; In terms of *teaching* accomplishments (as distinguished from
&gt;&gt; scholarly research), I think he was pretty amazing.
&gt;
&gt; I've recently found a fascinating essasy by Tom Shippey called
&gt; &quot;Tolkien's Academic Reputation Now&quot; (now being 1989) - which should
&gt; neatly address the &quot;scholarly research&quot; bit you mentioned.
&gt; [I know, I know, you were changing the subject to his teaching style
&gt; and ability, but I thought this was as good a place as any to jump in
&gt; and change the topic back again! :-) I did love the quote about
&gt; Tolkien talking in footnotes - I think I saw that again recently when
&gt; reading Carpenter's 'The Inklings' biography - really interesting
&gt; read.]

There's also a quote from CJRT to the effect that his father often drove
forward a topic by means of two, three or more interlocking, lengthy
footnotes. It's one of the things I love about reading Tolkien, the
sense that there's just too much to say, too many stories to fit into
one narrative thread. It seems that The Old Man lectured, thought, and
wrote as an 'inspired speaker of footnotes'. No doubt why it became such
an overwhelming task to 'niggle the details' into coherence with each
other!

- Ciaran S.
------------------------------------------------------
&quot;I'm not lurking! I'm hanging about. It's a whole 'nother vibe.&quot;
- BtVS

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#19: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-07-04 02:02:48 by Stan Brown

Mon, 03 Jul 2006 09:48:49 GMT from Christopher Kreuzer
&lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt;:
&gt; Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; &gt; In terms of *teaching* accomplishments (as distinguished from
&gt; &gt; scholarly research), I think he was pretty amazing.
&gt;
&gt; [I know, I know, you were changing the subject to his teaching style and
&gt; ability, but I thought this was as good a place as any to jump in and
&gt; change the topic back again! :-) I did love the quote about Tolkien
&gt; talking in footnotes

Just to make my point more clearly: As a part-time teacher myself, I
think there's a huge difference between lecturing and teaching. IIRC,
Tolkien was said to be a poor lecturer, speaking quickly and
indistinctly.

I said his teaching accomplishment was amazing because he actually
got a fair number of students interested in a subject of which they
had known nothing. Most teachers are happy to reach one or two
students a year in this way; he far outstripped that mark, IIRC.

I said &quot;as distinguished from his scholarly research&quot; because I don't
have a good feel for how that was evaluated. I know he got some
(good-natured?) ribbing over finishing LotR when he was supposed to
be doing scholarly research. I know also that he did publish
scholarly works -- it's just that I don't know how they compare in
quantity and quality to the standard of his time.

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
<a href="http://OakRoadSystems.com" target="_blank">http://OakRoadSystems.com</a>
Tolkien FAQs: <a href="http://Tolkien.slimy.com" target="_blank">http://Tolkien.slimy.com</a> (Steuard Jensen's site)
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#20: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-07-04 02:04:07 by Stan Brown

Mon, 3 Jul 2006 20:02:48 -0400 from Stan Brown
&lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt;:
&gt; I said &quot;as distinguished from his scholarly research&quot; because I don't
&gt; have a good feel for how that was evaluated.

But thanks to Christopher's article I now have a better feel than I
did. :-)

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
<a href="http://OakRoadSystems.com" target="_blank">http://OakRoadSystems.com</a>
Tolkien FAQs: <a href="http://Tolkien.slimy.com" target="_blank">http://Tolkien.slimy.com</a> (Steuard Jensen's site)
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#21: Re: Tolkien's scholarly accomplishments

Posted on 2006-07-04 16:14:41 by OMeallyMD

Stan Brown wrote:
&gt; Mon, 3 Jul 2006 20:02:48 -0400 from Stan Brown
&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt;:
&gt;&gt; I said &quot;as distinguished from his scholarly research&quot; because I don't
&gt;&gt; have a good feel for how that was evaluated.
&gt;
&gt; But thanks to Christopher's article I now have a better feel than I
&gt; did. :-)

As a footnote? ;-)
--
Bill

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

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#22: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-07 06:29:01 by morgothscurse2002

On Fri, 26 May 2006 05:57:59 -0400, Stan Brown
&lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; squawked in protest:


&gt;Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? One I
&gt;could understand, maybe, if you found it particularly interesting and
&gt;had some wonderful new insight, but you've posted a lot of followups
&gt;to very old threads all at once.
&gt;
&gt;Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
&gt;their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?

I suppose I could always point you to the thread titled &quot;To Post or
Not to Post&quot; but you should have already printed it out and taped it
to the wall of your office for the wisdom contained therein. ;-)

In all seriousness, Stan, ten or even five years ago you might have
had a legitimate complaint, but Google has transformed the Usenet as
Dejanews never could. How many hundreds or thousands of posts have
you read where somebody asking a question is advised to Google the
archives? Can you even begin to count how many posts you have seen
that included a URL to an old discussion?

Why is it permissible to use Google to research a thread, but not to
contribute to it? As Christopher Kruezer, Michael O'Neill and many
others have frequently pointed out, the same topics are repeatedly
discussed and the same questions asked all too frequently in this
forum. In fact, both Steuard Jensen and Stan Brown created FAQs in
order to address this problem. We can avoid newsgroup bloat simply by
adding our thoughts and comments to an existing thread.

I also wonder whether you truly appreciate the value of our archives.
It is unfortunate, but the typical commentary in most Tolkien-related
forums rarely exceeds such drivel as &quot;Ohmigawd, that movie was sooo
kewl!&quot; or &quot;Orlando Bloom is sooo hot!&quot; and &quot;I wanna shag Sean Bean!&quot;
The Tolkien newsgroups in contrast is a treasury of wisdom and
thought-provoking discussions. We even have posts by such famous
authors as Terry Pratchett, Mike Scott Rohan and Wayne Hammond.
Resurrecting a thread can prompt people to explore the archives and
inspire new or original questions.

Consider, for example, the thread titled &quot;Tolkien's Scholarly
Accomplishments.&quot; I responded to an old thread which had run its
course and Christopher Kreuzer answered with a well-written post that
sparked an interesting discussion of Tolkien's scholarly
accomplishments. I have seen this phenomenon occur many times and
always appreciate it because it is a reminder of just how dynamic this
community is.

Moreover, many newsreaders (including Forte Agent which is the ONLY
newsreader that a civilized person would consider using) allow people
to maintain their own private archives of these newsgroups. Most
newsreaders are perfectly capable of placing a reply within the proper
thread when properly configured. (I regret that my own archives only
extend back to 2000.)

It is obvious, of course, that not every thread is worthy of such
examination and resurrection. Using Google and other newsreaders to
continue a flamewar long after it has ceased and one or more of the
participants has departed is just pathetic. There are also a
multitude of political and movie related discussions which are
time-sensitive and do not merit further discussion. I contend that
the Chapter of the Week discussions are an exception and that we
should be free to add to any of those threads whenever we choose.

I wonder whether you realize the true cost of insisting that we
respond only to &quot;recent&quot; discussions. Consider the example of our
beloved Steward. Steuard Jensen may very well be the one of the most
intelligent people to ever post in these forums and his thoughts on
the works of Tolkien are always worth reading. Unfortunately, he has
not yet been able to participate due to academic work and other
obligations. By allowing and encouraging him to use Google or the
newsreader of his choice, he will be able to enrich our archives with
his own comments when he has sufficient time.

In closing, let me assert that in these days of instant messengers,
cell phones, pagers and other devices which demand an immediate
response, it is pleasant to be able to participate in a
forum/community which allows me to emphasize quality rather than
quantity.

Morgoth's Curse

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#23: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-07 18:25:31 by JimboCat

Morgoth's Curse wrote:

&gt;We even have posts by such famous
&gt;authors as Terry Pratchett,

Cite?

There are 638 google hits in RABT on &quot;Terry Pratchett&quot;, but only 9 that
also include his handle &quot;pterry&quot;, and none of those nine were authored
by him. AFT has slightly fewer.

Not that I disagree with the rest of your post: you make a very good
case! Just being a stickler for facts... &lt;/pedant&gt;

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
Give a man some fire, and he's warm for the evening. Set a man on fire,
and he's warm for the rest of his life

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#24: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-07 22:52:20 by Troels Forchhammer

In message
&lt;news:<a href="mailto:1152289531.057979.152920&#64;m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com" target="_blank">1152289531.057979.152920&#64;m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com</a>&gt;
&quot;JimboCat&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com" target="_blank">103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com</a>&gt; enriched us with:

&gt; Morgoth's Curse wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt;We even have posts by such famous authors as Terry Pratchett,
&gt;
&gt; Cite?

AFT does have -- even some that are not cross-posted (see e.g. the
'LOTR in top 10 BBC &quot;Big Read&quot;' thread in the search below). But I
can't find any in RABT

&lt; google.com/groups?as_ugroup=*.tolkien&amp;as_uauthors=Terry+ Pratchett &gt;
(if necessary, put &quot;<a href="http://groups." target="_blank">http://groups.</a>&quot; in front of that URL, when copying
to your browser).

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is &lt;t.forch(a)email.dk&gt;

Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.
- /Reaper Man/ (Terry Pratchett)

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#25: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-07 23:32:33 by Christopher Kreuzer

Troels Forchhammer &lt;<a href="mailto:Troels&#64;ThisIsFake.invalid" target="_blank">Troels&#64;ThisIsFake.invalid</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; In message
&gt; &lt;news:<a href="mailto:1152289531.057979.152920&#64;m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com" target="_blank">1152289531.057979.152920&#64;m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com</a>&gt;
&gt; &quot;JimboCat&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com" target="_blank">103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com</a>&gt; enriched us with:
&gt;
&gt;&gt; Morgoth's Curse wrote:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt; We even have posts by such famous authors as Terry Pratchett,
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Cite?
&gt;
&gt; AFT does have -- even some that are not cross-posted (see e.g. the
&gt; 'LOTR in top 10 BBC &quot;Big Read&quot;' thread in the search below). But I
&gt; can't find any in RABT

(replace your URL with this one)

<a href="http://tinyurl.com/rfep8" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/rfep8</a>

Interesting. I wonder if we can make a list of 'famous' people who have
posted to the Tolkien newsgroups under their real names. (I also like to
trawl Usenet sometimes searching for posts by famous people - or people
who became famous.)

Of even more interest is wondering who might be reading and not posting
(lurking). I personally assume the whole world is reading! :-)

Morgoth's Curse mentioned:

Terry Pratchett
Mike Scott Rohan
Wayne Hammond

I'd add Carl F. Hostetter and David Salo as well.

Though in fact, of the above, only Rohan and Pratchett are truly famous
authors outside of Tolkien studies and fandom.

I've also stumbled across the names of people I recognise in the
archives. Not famous people to the general population, but well-known in
their area of Tolkien fandom.

One such is Ostadan of TheOneRing.net. I have one of the essay
collections from TORn, which he contributes to.

And Michael Martinez is a logical addition to this list.

Christopher

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

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#26: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-07 23:42:15 by Christopher Kreuzer

&lt;snip&gt;

&gt;&gt;&gt; Morgoth's Curse wrote:
&gt;&gt;&gt;&gt; We even have posts by such famous authors as Terry Pratchett,

The &quot;Does Pratchett miss the point?&quot; thread was interesting. I jumped in
at this point here:

<a href="http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.tolkien/msg/d06c9a9eb3c71e8a" target="_blank"> http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.tolkien/msg/d06c9a9eb 3c71e8a</a>

He finished with this hilarious line:

&quot;This post has been difficult to write because a comma at one point
detached itself from the text and started to walk across the screen. At
the moment it is moving purposefully six lines away from where I first
spotted it. It seems that a very, very small insect is crawling around
inside my flat-screen monitor...&quot;

The comments following that are hilarious as well.

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#27: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-08 02:49:03 by bredband.net

&quot;Christopher Kreuzer&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk" target="_blank">spamgard&#64;blueyonder.co.uk</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
news:XyArg.98121$<a href="mailto:wl.68919&#64;text.news.blueyonder.co.uk..." target="_blank">wl.68919&#64;text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...</a>
&gt; &lt;snip&gt;

[snip]

&gt; The &quot;Does Pratchett miss the point?&quot; thread was interesting. I jumped in
&gt; at this point here:
&gt;
&gt; <a href="http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.tolkien/msg/d06c9a9eb3c71e8a" target="_blank"> http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.tolkien/msg/d06c9a9eb 3c71e8a</a>
&gt;
&gt; He finished with this hilarious line:
&gt;
&gt; &quot;This post has been difficult to write because a comma at one point
&gt; detached itself from the text and started to walk across the screen. At
&gt; the moment it is moving purposefully six lines away from where I first
&gt; spotted it. It seems that a very, very small insect is crawling around
&gt; inside my flat-screen monitor...&quot;
&gt;
&gt; The comments following that are hilarious as well.

Ah, yes. [WINCE] That was the time when Pratchett accused me of being a
troll. That was, by the way, an incorrect use of the word. I suppose that I
could have merited the designation of flamer because I called his
squeaky-voiced admirers &quot;little Pratchettite smurfs&quot;. However, the really
interesting aspect of Pratchett's behaviour is that by his own admission, he
let his fans flame and abuse regulars in AFT for weeks without intervening
and telling them to cool it; but the instant he found an insult against his
crowd, he came charging in with a flaming sword and a total lack of humour.
Now, that made me more angry than anything his more fanatical admirers had
said prior to that; and they said plenty.

Öjevind

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#28: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-08 12:07:01 by Stan Brown

Fri, 07 Jul 2006 04:29:01 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; On Fri, 26 May 2006 05:57:59 -0400, Stan Brown
&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; squawked in protest:
&gt; &gt;Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? One I
&gt; &gt;could understand, maybe, if you found it particularly interesting and
&gt; &gt;had some wonderful new insight, but you've posted a lot of followups
&gt; &gt;to very old threads all at once.
&gt; &gt;
&gt; &gt;Could I suggest, meaning no disrespect, that threads that have run
&gt; &gt;their course be allowed to sleep peacefully?

&gt; In all seriousness, Stan, ten or even five years ago you might have
&gt; had a legitimate complaint, but Google has transformed the Usenet as
&gt; Dejanews never could.

Google exists, and we can't change that. That is, however, no reason
to make things worse, deliberately, as you seem to delight in doing,
and particularly when you do it not to add useful points to a
discussion but to restart an argument.

It is also a little disingenuous to address your comments to me
alone, since others have also protested this tendency of yours.

That said, I would appreciate seeing comments from others.

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

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#29: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-08 15:28:13 by Derek Broughton

Stan Brown wrote:

&gt; Fri, 07 Jul 2006 04:29:01 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt; @nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt;&gt; On Fri, 26 May 2006 05:57:59 -0400, Stan Brown
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; squawked in protest:
&gt;&gt; &gt;Is it really necessary to drag up eighteen-month old threads? ...
&gt;
&gt;&gt; In all seriousness, Stan, ten or even five years ago you might have
&gt;&gt; had a legitimate complaint, but Google has transformed the Usenet as
&gt;&gt; Dejanews never could.
&gt;
&gt; Google exists, and we can't change that. That is, however, no reason
&gt; to make things worse, deliberately, as you seem to delight in doing,
&gt; and particularly when you do it not to add useful points to a
&gt; discussion but to restart an argument.
&gt;
&gt; It is also a little disingenuous to address your comments to me
&gt; alone, since others have also protested this tendency of yours.
&gt;
&gt; That said, I would appreciate seeing comments from others.

I have &quot;Morgoth's curse&quot; filtered for no other reason than I just don't want
to see all those month-old (or worse) threads resurrected. There's only
one other person on all of Usenet I've filtered for this cause - there's
absolutely nothing wrong with MC's content, it's just about stuff I've long
since consigned to long-term memory.
--
derek

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#30: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-09 02:04:09 by sbjensen

[Regarding the practice of resurrecting old threads rather than
starting new ones.]

Quoth Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; in article
&lt;<a href="mailto:MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net" target="_blank">MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net</a>&gt;:
&gt; That said, I would appreciate seeing comments from others.

For the record, I've been rather torn on this for a long time. I must
admit that I've found myself irritated by these resurrected threads in
the past, but I'm not really sure why. Morgoth's Curse makes a good
point that the threads /are/ there (at least for those whose
newsreader archives go back that far), so if there is still
interesting stuff to say on a topic, why not bring it back up in
context? I don't think I'm so firmly on either side that I'd try to
talk people out of doing things one way or another.

Having said that, here are a handful of concerns that come to my mind
regarding thread resurrection:

1. Finding context is inconvenient. Yes, context is available on
Google, but most of us don't post from there (nor do we keep years
of local archives). So most of us are only likely to look at the
context that's quoted in the first &quot;resurrection&quot; post.

2. Context can be daunting. It's considered poor netiquette to post
to a thread without being fairly familiar with the discussion that
has already occurred there. So before following up to a
resurrected thread, we should really go back and at least skim
through the earlier posts. Some threads (especially interesting
ones that are likely candidates for resurrection) can be really
long, so we're looking at a serious time committment before we can
even make a first post. (On the other hand, if people /don't/ do
this, what was the value of the resurrection in the first place?)

3. Fresh starts can be good. Sometimes, progress in a discussion
stalls because people have grown entrenched in their positions
(even if it hasn't devolved to a flame war). Waiting a few months
and then opening the discussion from scratch can give people a
chance to rethink their positions and perhaps be ready to move on.
Resurrecting a thread could implicitly force people into their
previous polarized roles from the start.

4. Participant shift. A discussion of Balrog Wings featuring me,
Conrad, and Michael Martinez would be entirely different than a
discussion of Balrog Wings featuring Troels, Stan, and Ojevind
(believe me!). I submit that it could be quite misleading (or
confusing to future archive readers) to suggest otherwise by
starting the second as a followup to the first.

5. Some things are best forgotten. No, really. :) At its worst,
thread resurrection could be used to repeatedly bring back up
arguments that most of the participants would prefer to just put
behind them (at least for a while). That could be done without
resurrection as well, of course, but posting a direct followup to
someone's old post can feel much more aggressive (and impose a
greater sense of obligation on their part to reply): it's got a bit
of a feel of shoving their words back in their face.

6. Stifling of new ideas. I've been criticized before (along with my
FAQ) for discouraging new discussion by posting answers that imply
that everything about a topic has already been discussed before.
That's not my intent, and it's not the intent of thread
resurrection, but I fear that they could both lead to that mistaken
impression: &quot;you're only allowed to post if you're already /this/
much of an expert&quot;. Starting fresh but posting pointers to the FAQ
and to older discussions might be a bit less intimidating to
newcomers.


So those are at least a few of my concerns about thread resurrection.
I'd be interested in seeing a similar list of positive points about
the practice, and in seeing counter-arguments to these.

Steuard Jensen

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#31: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-09 16:53:11 by morgothscurse2002

On Sat, 08 Jul 2006 10:28:13 -0300, Derek Broughton
&lt;<a href="mailto:news&#64;pointerstop.ca" target="_blank">news&#64;pointerstop.ca</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;I have &quot;Morgoth's curse&quot; filtered for no other reason than I just don't want
&gt;to see all those month-old (or worse) threads resurrected. There's only
&gt;one other person on all of Usenet I've filtered for this cause - there's
&gt;absolutely nothing wrong with MC's content, it's just about stuff I've long
&gt;since consigned to long-term memory.

&lt; boggle &gt;

You memorize entire threads?!!!! Man, what I would not give to have
that kind of memory! ;-)

Morgoth's Curse

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#32: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-09 17:19:50 by morgothscurse2002

On Sat, 8 Jul 2006 06:07:01 -0400, Stan Brown
&lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;It is also a little disingenuous to address your comments to me
&gt;alone, since others have also protested this tendency of yours.

I addressed my comments to you specifically because you are the only
one of my detractors whose opinion I respect. You are also the only
one who repeatedly criticized my posts strictly on the basis of a
perceived time lag. Just a quick glance through my archives reveals
six or seven posts in which you grumble about the age of the threads
that I have participated in. Rather than respond to each post, I
decided to incorporate it all into one coherent post.

Morgoth's Curse

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#33: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-09 19:11:28 by Stan Brown

Sun, 09 Jul 2006 15:19:50 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; You are also the only
&gt; one who repeatedly criticized my posts strictly on the basis of a
&gt; perceived time lag.

Read more carefully: I criticized the combination of the time lag and
your decision to resurrect at least one thread strictly to take a
slap at me.

If you had actually said anything on topic that hadn't already been
said...

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

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#34: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-10 20:08:23 by Henriette

Steuard Jensen schreef:

(Mercilessly snipping post;-)

&gt; So those are at least a few of my concerns about thread resurrection.
&gt; I'd be interested in seeing a similar list of positive points about
&gt; the practice, and in seeing counter-arguments to these.

IMO the important thing is intent. If someone resurrects a thread to
rekindle a flame-war, I'm against it.

If someone is perfectionalistically reading every post in ABT/RABT but
behind in time, I think he has every right to reply in his own time.
Who are we, who skip months of posts when we feel like it, to judge? Or
when someone thinks of a new argument in an existing discussion, why
not fit it to an already excisting thread? I'm always delighted with a
'deja vu'-experience when old posts are revived.

Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
things which 'Aren't Allowed'.

Henriette

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#35: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-11 00:59:23 by bredband.net

&quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
news:<a href="mailto:1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>

[snip]

&gt; If someone is perfectionalistically reading every post in ABT/RABT but
&gt; behind in time, I think he has every right to reply in his own time.
&gt; Who are we, who skip months of posts when we feel like it, to judge? Or
&gt; when someone thinks of a new argument in an existing discussion, why
&gt; not fit it to an already excisting thread? I'm always delighted with a
&gt; 'deja vu'-experience when old posts are revived.
&gt;
&gt; Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
&gt; things which 'Aren't Allowed'.

I completely agree.

Öjevind

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#36: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-11 18:39:44 by JimboCat

=D6jevind L=E5ng&quot; wrote:

&quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
&gt;news:<a href="mailto:1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt;
&gt;[snip]
&gt;
&gt;&gt; If someone is perfectionalistically reading every post in ABT/RABT but
&gt;&gt; behind in time, I think he has every right to reply in his own time.
&gt;&gt; Who are we, who skip months of posts when we feel like it, to judge? Or
&gt;&gt; when someone thinks of a new argument in an existing discussion, why
&gt;&gt; not fit it to an already excisting thread? I'm always delighted with a
&gt;&gt; 'deja vu'-experience when old posts are revived.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
&gt;&gt; things which 'Aren't Allowed'.
&gt;
&gt;I completely agree.

The Authorities, it is true, differ whether this last post was a mere
&quot;AOL&quot;, and not a &quot;newsgroup post&quot; according to the strict rules of
Netiquette; but all agree that, after quoting the OP, =D6jevind was
bound to sprout wings, or possibly winglike shadows or maybe shadowlike
wings or something like that there. And Stan Brown pressed for an end
to the ominously drifting thread, for the thought came to him that this
slimy creature might prove false, even though such conventions were
held sacred, and of old all but the wickedest things feared to break
them...

Cute link:
<a href="http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2006/01/lipshaw_on_cont=" target="_blank"> http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2006/01/ lipshaw_on_cont=</a>
..html

I especially like the illustration. &lt;g&gt;

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--=20
Don't question authority. What makes you think they know anything?

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#37: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-12 00:40:58 by bredband.net

&quot;JimboCat&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com" target="_blank">103134.3516&#64;compuserve.com</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet

[snip]

&gt;The Authorities, it is true, differ whether this last post was a mere
&quot;AOL&quot;, and not a &quot;newsgroup post&quot; according to the strict rules of
Netiquette; but all agree that, after quoting the OP, Öjevind was
bound to sprout wings, or possibly winglike shadows or maybe shadowlike
wings or something like that there. And Stan Brown pressed for an end
to the ominously drifting thread, for the thought came to him that this
slimy creature might prove false, even though such conventions were
held sacred, and of old all but the wickedest things feared to break
them...

&gt;Cute link:
&gt;<a href="http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2006/01/lipshaw_on_cont.html" target="_blank"> http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2006/01/ lipshaw_on_cont.html</a>

&gt;I especially like the illustration. &lt;g&gt;

So do I! LOLOL.

Öjevind

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#38: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-12 20:59:39 by Henriette

=D6jevind L=E5ng schreef:

&gt; &quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
&gt; news:<a href="mailto:1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152554903.005345.139180&#64;75g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt; [snip]
&gt;
&gt; &gt; Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
&gt; &gt; things which 'Aren't Allowed'.
&gt;=20
&gt; I completely agree.
&gt;=20
Tack s=E5 mycket;-) =D6jevind!

Henriette

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#39: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-12 23:49:59 by bredband.net

&quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt; skrev i meddelandet
news:<a href="mailto:1152730779.146030.198160&#64;s13g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1152730779.146030.198160&#64;s13g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>

&gt;Öjevind Lång schreef:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; &gt; Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
&gt;&gt; &gt; things which 'Aren't Allowed'.
&gt; &gt;
&gt;&gt; I completely agree.
&gt;
&gt;Tack så mycket;-) Öjevind!

För all del. :-)

Öjevind

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#40: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-13 06:24:44 by cbstewart3rd

Steuard Jensen wrote:
&gt; [Regarding the practice of resurrecting old threads rather than
&gt; starting new ones.]
&gt;
&gt; Quoth Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; in article
&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net" target="_blank">MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net</a>&gt;:
&gt; &gt; That said, I would appreciate seeing comments from others.
&gt;
&gt; Having said that, here are a handful of concerns that come to my mind
&gt; regarding thread resurrection:
&gt;
&gt; 1. Finding context is inconvenient. Yes, context is available on
&gt; Google, but most of us don't post from there (nor do we keep years
&gt; of local archives). So most of us are only likely to look at the
&gt; context that's quoted in the first &quot;resurrection&quot; post.

That's not an argument against &quot;thread resurrection&quot;. That's an
argument against avoiding use of Google. Some of us *do* read and post
from Google precisely because it enables us to coveniently check nearly
every relevant past discussion in Usenet before posting an error, a
redundancy, or an under-informed remark.

&gt; 2. Context can be daunting. It's considered poor netiquette to post
&gt; to a thread without being fairly familiar with the discussion that
&gt; has already occurred there. So before following up to a
&gt; resurrected thread, we should really go back and at least skim
&gt; through the earlier posts. Some threads (especially interesting
&gt; ones that are likely candidates for resurrection) can be really
&gt; long, so we're looking at a serious time committment before we can
&gt; even make a first post. (On the other hand, if people /don't/ do
&gt; this, what was the value of the resurrection in the first place?)

The vast majority don't read RABT with the intention or desire to post
a reply. Lurkers -- and many occasional posters, like me -- do it for
the potential of learning something new about an aspect of Tolkien's
work that we might not know, or which might be presented in a new light
or in interesting prose.

In this particular case, I was delighted and informed by the Hammond
responses in this old thread to the queries about the Companion and
Guide. Without the resurrection, I'd have missed Hammond's feedback
altogether.

I also daresay that most posters contributing to very long threads
don't feel obliged by netiquette to read all the other posts before
joining the fray. It's advice, not a rule. Of course, those who do feel
so obliged are likelier to write on-target posts that will be better
appreciated by RABT readers. But there's only a likelihood of
improvement, not a guarantee.

And if someone feels moved to add an idea or share a response without
having &quot;done their homework&quot;, in the full knowledge that they risk
posting something that is under-informed, redundant, or less
well-addressed than elsewhere in the thread, why should that poster not
feel free to take that risk and post anyway? Readers of such posts will
not feel bound to appreciate them more than they deserve, and will
quickly move on.

&gt; 3. Fresh starts can be good. Sometimes, progress in a discussion
&gt; stalls because people have grown entrenched in their positions
&gt; (even if it hasn't devolved to a flame war). Waiting a few months
&gt; and then opening the discussion from scratch can give people a
&gt; chance to rethink their positions and perhaps be ready to move on.
&gt; Resurrecting a thread could implicitly force people into their
&gt; previous polarized roles from the start.

This criticism I think has merit. But it is offset by other relevant
facts.
1. No one is prevented from re-visiting an issue or a discussion in a
new thread because someone else resurrects an old one.
2. In fact, the resurrection invites both old posters (and lurkers) and
new ones to put fresh thinking into an issue that they might otherwise
not have been stimulated to address simply because the matter would not
not get brought up.
3. It's easier to respond to a post than to initiate one. Therefore
interesting discussions are more likely to move forward, and fresh
ideas be contributed, because the resurrected thread appears, where a
brand new one may have been aborted because it seemed too daunting.
More posts give us more options for learning and input, so it's better
to have new issues raised via old threads than not at all. Conversely,
if one's &quot;new&quot; perspective proves trite (to me), I'd just as soon see
it tacked on to a discussion that provides the context in which the
&quot;re-poster&quot; thought it &quot;newsworthy&quot; and which might otherwise be
interesting, than in a brand new thread that offers nothing else of
interest to me.
4. I agree that it is tempting to defend one's old, public positions
and that this redundancy may detract from a current discussion. But
presumably the re-poster considered that when choosing to resurrect,
and has reasons for not initiating a brand new thread. Of course, those
reasons may be &quot;vengeance-driven&quot;. But in that case, you or I can
rescue the new discussion by taking it to a new thread with the
comment, &quot;I find this discussion worthwhile and thought it could
benefit from a fresh start, so I'm giving it one. Now, on So-and-so's
point, it occurs to me that...&quot;
5. I often feel that new discussions of old topics are diminished by
not reflecting the information and/or conclusions of old consensus --
especially those in which I have participated. But usually, frustration
prompts me to avoid the new discussion altogether because I don't feel
like re-iterating what I've said before and consider still relevant.
When, instead, an old thread is resurrected but the new comments omit
reference thereto, I am more likely to conclude that the old view was
noted but disagreed with. Or I'll point out that such-and-such
question/allegation has already been addressed/resolved elsewhere in
the thread, so it need not distract from the current discussion if
people will heed it. Some may, of course, think that the old point
inadequately addresses the matter, and will ignore my reference -- as
is their right, and as may be appropriate to prompt fresh
re-consideration. Either way, the resurrection approach works.

&gt; 4. Participant shift. A discussion of Balrog Wings featuring me,
&gt; Conrad, and Michael Martinez would be entirely different than a
&gt; discussion of Balrog Wings featuring Troels, Stan, and Ojevind
&gt; (believe me!). I submit that it could be quite misleading (or
&gt; confusing to future archive readers) to suggest otherwise by
&gt; starting the second as a followup to the first.

For me, all of RABT is one big discussion of Tolkien's works with many
side-discussions and participants. I don't see how a current discussion
begun in an old thread is any more dimiinished by the ghosts of past
participants than a current discussion in a current thread that
includes other discussants or sub-topics. The new participants will
just naturally take the discussion in different directions than the
past ones did -- but with the advantage of being able to draw upon
their observations, potentially generating additive insights and a more
comprehensive consensus.

&gt; 5. Some things are best forgotten. No, really. :) At its worst,
&gt; thread resurrection could be used to repeatedly bring back up
&gt; arguments that most of the participants would prefer to just put
&gt; behind them (at least for a while). That could be done without
&gt; resurrection as well, of course, but posting a direct followup to
&gt; someone's old post can feel much more aggressive (and impose a
&gt; greater sense of obligation on their part to reply): it's got a bit
&gt; of a feel of shoving their words back in their face.

Absolutely true. Consider the source, and gnore those threads.

&gt; 6. Stifling of new ideas. I've been criticized before (along with my
&gt; FAQ) for discouraging new discussion by posting answers that imply
&gt; that everything about a topic has already been discussed before.
&gt; That's not my intent, and it's not the intent of thread
&gt; resurrection, but I fear that they could both lead to that mistaken
&gt; impression: &quot;you're only allowed to post if you're already /this/
&gt; much of an expert&quot;. Starting fresh but posting pointers to the FAQ
&gt; and to older discussions might be a bit less intimidating to
&gt; newcomers.

I am particularly sensitive to the need to encourage newbies and
lurkers to participate lest Usenet wither. But in this case, remember
that it is only one post that pops up initially for the newbie/lurker
to read. Reading more in the thread is optional. If a re-poster chose
to add to -- rather than initiate -- a post, it is presumably because
that person values the previous input, and seeks a response that builds
upon it. A naive reply is less likely if the query is posted in the
context of the issue's discussion history -- and therefore the
newbie/lurker is less likely to get their head bitten off for making
such a reply, and is therefore less likely to slink off never to be
heard from again. RABT has to balance the interests of those who are
new to the subject matter with those who are long-steeped in it.
Resurrecting a post is one tool for doing that.

&gt; So those are at least a few of my concerns about thread resurrection.
&gt; I'd be interested in seeing a similar list of positive points about
&gt; the practice, and in seeing counter-arguments to these.

Done.

Charles Stewart

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#41: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-13 23:59:53 by Christopher Kreuzer

<a href="mailto:cbstewart3rd&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">cbstewart3rd&#64;yahoo.com</a> &lt;<a href="mailto:cbstewart3rd&#64;yahoo.com" target="_blank">cbstewart3rd&#64;yahoo.com</a>&gt; wrote:
&gt; Steuard Jensen wrote:
&gt;&gt; [Regarding the practice of resurrecting old threads rather than
&gt;&gt; starting new ones.]
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Quoth Stan Brown &lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; in article
&gt;&gt; &lt;<a href="mailto:MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net" target="_blank">MPG.1f194dd0fb4cb6fb98a5b5&#64;news.individual.net</a>&gt;:
&gt;&gt;&gt; That said, I would appreciate seeing comments from others.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Having said that, here are a handful of concerns that come to my mind
&gt;&gt; regarding thread resurrection:
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; 1. Finding context is inconvenient. Yes, context is available on
&gt;&gt; Google, but most of us don't post from there (nor do we keep years
&gt;&gt; of local archives). So most of us are only likely to look at the
&gt;&gt; context that's quoted in the first &quot;resurrection&quot; post.
&gt;
&gt; That's not an argument against &quot;thread resurrection&quot;. That's an
&gt; argument against avoiding use of Google. Some of us *do* read and post
&gt; from Google precisely because it enables us to coveniently check
&gt; nearly every relevant past discussion in Usenet before posting an
&gt; error, a redundancy, or an under-informed remark.

&lt;snip&gt;

Unfortunately I only have time to respond to this particular point in
this fascinating discussion.

I believe Google Groups only allows threads to be replied to if the last
post was less than a month ago. This suggests that there are good
reasons for limiting the scope of resurrecting threads, though I am in
general supportive of the resurrections that Morgoth's Curse has
initiated.

One reason for not allowing resurrection via the Google Groups archive
can be illustrated by what happened (I think I have the timing right)
when they launched the beta version of Google Groups. People suddenly
found that it was possible to reply to any old thread.

This led to people posting inane replies to the oldest archived threads,
dating back to the 1980s. These threads, of great historical interest,
were thus vandalised by later authors.

Though, in fact, I believe that if you copy old messages complete with
headers (though I believe Google Groups doesn't release all the headers
of a post to the viewable website area), then you can trick a normal
newsreader into thinking it is replying to a post in a (possibly very
old) thread, and this can still propagate across Usenet. Though I'm 99%
sure there is some reason why this can't happen.

Anyway, I think resurrecting posts 2-3 years later is the upper limit.
After that, I agree that they should be left in peace, and a new thread
started with a link to the old one. Leave the historians to make the
link between the two separate threads.

Christopher

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

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#42: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-14 14:01:55 by morgothscurse2002

On Sun, 9 Jul 2006 13:11:28 -0400, Stan Brown
&lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;Sun, 09 Jul 2006 15:19:50 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt;@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt;&gt; You are also the only
&gt;&gt; one who repeatedly criticized my posts strictly on the basis of a
&gt;&gt; perceived time lag.
&gt;
&gt;Read more carefully: I criticized the combination of the time lag and
&gt;your decision to resurrect at least one thread strictly to take a
&gt;slap at me.
&gt;
&gt;If you had actually said anything on topic that hadn't already been
&gt;said...

The time lag is indisputable. I deemed your other complaints to be
subjective and therefore unworthy of comment in a post that was
devoted to examining the benefits of extending the time in which we
may respond to a post.

Morgoth's Curse

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#43: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-14 14:19:23 by morgothscurse2002

On 10 Jul 2006 11:08:23 -0700, &quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt;
wrote:

&gt;Steuard Jensen schreef:
&gt;
&gt;(Mercilessly snipping post;-)
&gt;
&gt;&gt; So those are at least a few of my concerns about thread resurrection.
&gt;&gt; I'd be interested in seeing a similar list of positive points about
&gt;&gt; the practice, and in seeing counter-arguments to these.
&gt;
&gt;IMO the important thing is intent. If someone resurrects a thread to
&gt;rekindle a flame-war, I'm against it.

Agreement on this point seems to be unanimous. :-)
&gt;
&gt;If someone is perfectionalistically reading every post in ABT/RABT but
&gt;behind in time, I think he has every right to reply in his own time.
&gt;Who are we, who skip months of posts when we feel like it, to judge? Or
&gt;when someone thinks of a new argument in an existing discussion, why
&gt;not fit it to an already excisting thread? I'm always delighted with a
&gt;'deja vu'-experience when old posts are revived.

It is not so much that I am reading every post
perfectionalistcally--any thread that discusses language tends to make
my eyes glaze over, for instance--as that I have a multitude of other
obligations that cannot be neglected. In addition to my job, I must
help my elderly parents with various chores and repairs to their home;
participate as much as possible in the fields of environmental
conservation/restoration and maintain my correspondence with my family
and friends. This is complicated by my muscular dystrophy and carpal
tunnel syndrome, so I can only respond as time and health permit. I
understand only too well why it Tolkien required so much time to
finish his masterpiece. :-)

&gt;Besides that, I think we should be careful with our 'Rules' and the
&gt;things which 'Aren't Allowed'.

Now if you could only persuade our local Shirriff... ;-)

Morgoth's Curse

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#44: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-15 00:38:14 by Stan Brown

Fri, 14 Jul 2006 12:19:23 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt; On 10 Jul 2006 11:08:23 -0700, &quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt;
&gt; wrote:

&gt; &gt;IMO the important thing is intent. If someone resurrects a thread to
&gt; &gt;rekindle a flame-war, I'm against it.
&gt;
&gt; Agreement on this point seems to be unanimous. :-)

Oh good. Then that means you won't do it again.

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

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#45: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-15 06:29:37 by morgothscurse2002

On Fri, 14 Jul 2006 18:38:14 -0400, Stan Brown
&lt;<a href="mailto:the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm" target="_blank">the_stan_brown&#64;fastmail.fm</a>&gt; wrote:

&gt;Fri, 14 Jul 2006 12:19:23 GMT from Morgoth's Curse &lt;morgothscurse2002
&gt;@nospam.yahoo.com&gt;:
&gt;&gt; On 10 Jul 2006 11:08:23 -0700, &quot;Henriette&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:heldenib&#64;hotmail.com" target="_blank">heldenib&#64;hotmail.com</a>&gt;
&gt;&gt; wrote:
&gt;
&gt;&gt; &gt;IMO the important thing is intent. If someone resurrects a thread to
&gt;&gt; &gt;rekindle a flame-war, I'm against it.
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; Agreement on this point seems to be unanimous. :-)
&gt;
&gt;Oh good. Then that means you won't do it again.

I have five years of your posts on my computer.

Live in fear, Stan. ;-)

Morgoth's Curse

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#46: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-16 14:56:42 by Henriette

Morgoth's Curse schreef:

&gt; It is not so much that I am reading every post
&gt; perfectionalistcally--any thread that discusses language tends to make
&gt; my eyes glaze over, for instance--as that I have a multitude of other
&gt; obligations that cannot be neglected. In addition to my job, I must
&gt; help my elderly parents with various chores and repairs to their home;
&gt; participate as much as possible in the fields of environmental
&gt; conservation/restoration and maintain my correspondence with my family
&gt; and friends. This is complicated by my muscular dystrophy and carpal
&gt; tunnel syndrome, so I can only respond as time and health permit. (snip)
&gt;
Good grief! Please do take your time. I like resurrected old threads,
others don't, but fortunately we have no Boss here and since you don't
do any harm (at the moment. In all fairness I have seen you pour some
oil on the fire, on occasion) the Lady of the Golden Words says: you
'are allowed' and even...encouraged! Everyone can ignore any thread
they like.

Henriette

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#47: Re: The Thread That Runs So True: Google, the Usenet & Ancient Threads

Posted on 2006-07-21 06:05:53 by Steve Morrison

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

&gt; Interesting. I wonder if we can make a list of 'famous' people who have
&gt; posted to the Tolkien newsgroups under their real names. (I also like to
&gt; trawl Usenet sometimes searching for posts by famous people - or people
&gt; who became famous.)

There seems to have been a post about ten years ago from a &quot;Joe
Kruskal&quot; (message-id &lt;<a href="mailto:DsJIpv.3HC&#64;research.att.com" target="_blank">DsJIpv.3HC&#64;research.att.com</a>&gt;), who may have
been the famous mathematician Joseph B. Kruskal. Wikipedia has an
article on him, mirrored here:

<a href="http://www.answers.com/topic/joseph-kruskal" target="_blank">http://www.answers.com/topic/joseph-kruskal</a>

I don't really know whether this is the same man; it looks as though
it might be.

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