On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 16:19:58 -0400,
John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Jan van Steenbergen scripsit:
> > One perhaps stupid question (I have been away for a while, so forgive me):
> > I understood these Elves are entirely human; so what makes them "Elvish"?
> It was they, or their ancestors, who gave the Germanic speakers the idea of
> Elves in the first place, with their tall and thin bodies, their
> forest-dwelling
> habits, and their comparatively (to barbarians) high technology.
> Apparently they were once more widely spread.  When the Anglo-Saxons came
> to Britain and met the remnant population, they promptly identified them,
> essentially correctly, with the _ylve_ of their folk traditions.
> They are of course the survivors of the pre-Celtic population.

Correct answer.

> IB-JRRT was part Elvish on his mother's side, and decided to write a big book
> fictionalizing the traditions of his ancestors, after spending many years
> studying (and somewhat conlangifying) their language after IB-Joseph Wright
> advised him to "go in for Elvish, lad -- there's money in it."
> (He made the same comment *here*, but about Celtic.)

This is an idea that was briefly under consideration before I bailed out
of Ill Bethisad, but it has long ago been discarded; and as there are
no Elves in Ill Bethisad any longer, Ill Bethisad's JRRT (if there is
at all) is neither part Elvish on his mother's side, nor did he study
the Elvish languages or wrote a big book fictionalizing their

If JRRT lived in IB, he might have *invented* Elvish (or whatever)
languages and traditions as he did *here*.

I am out of that game and I have no intention to return to Ill Bethisad.
And if Padraic wants to keep the name "Mindon Gwar" on the map because
he likes its sound, he'd better come up with an etymology based on
the languages spoken *there*, which *don't* include any kind of