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Not for Naught

Posted by on January 14, 2004

Re-reading have I been the Lord of the Rings trilogy and somewhat annoyed have I become at the persistent switching of traditional subject-verb order which Tolkein engages in. Very like it is to the grammer which I did use in my eight grade sonnets, wherein merry havoc did I play with subject-verb order to make my words fit within iambic pentameter.

Though much do I love these books, and especially the third, my breaking point did I reach last night — not due to the ass-backwards grammar, but rather when Aragorn Faramir did heal, and a nearby woman did he command to “make water hot.” Apparently “boil” was a word which existed not when mightily crafting was Tolkein these books.

In addition, at one point does Legolas say of Aragorn that “not for naught” does Sauron fear him. I can’t imagine that would go over well in a dialogue.

Legolas: Not for naught is Aragorn much feared by Sauron.

Gimli: Not for not? Be this a strange double negative? Or merely some elvish trick of language, for I know that among the elves are many cunning linguists.

Legolas: No, for “naught.” As in “aught.”

Gimli: Aye, much fear indeed ought Sauron to have of Aragorn, for he is a doughty fighter.

Legolas: Naught like “caught.”

Gimli: Aye, “not” like “cot.” How I wish you had not mentioned it, for I am greatly weary after our long journey in search of the Halflings and would be glad to rest my head on any cot.




Gimli: I be a dwarf.

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