The Ring of Words

The Ring of Words

Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary

Book - 2006
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The Ring of Words describes the powerful and unique relationship between Tolkien's creative use of language in his fictional works and his professional work on the Oxford English Dictionary. Tolkien's earliest employment was as an assistant on the staff of the OED, and he later said that hehad 'learned more in those two years than in any other equal part of [his] life'. Here three authors, themselves senior editors of the OED, engage directly with Tolkien's language and his fictional world. Two discursive sections explore Tolkien as a lexicographer and his creativity as a word user and creator; while the main section of the book is made up of individual 'wordstudies' which explore words found in Tolkien's fiction in terms of their origins, development, and significance in his fictional world. Words such as 'hobbit', 'attercop', 'precious', 'Smeagol', and 'waybread' are explored in fascinating detail.The Ring of Words offers a new and unexplored angle on the creative world of one of our most famous and well-loved writers, presenting new archive material for the first time.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780198610694
Branch Call Number: 828.91209 T57ygi 2006
Characteristics: xvi, 234 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Marshall, Jeremy
Weiner, E. S. C.


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Aug 11, 2018

This book is short and at times interesting. But I spotted some errors, such as claiming Tom Shippey said Donaldson borrowed 'gangrel', 'eyot', and 'dour-handed' from Tolkien, when what he said was " 'gangrel', 'eyot', and 'dour-handed', the latter surely a borrowing."


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