The Pages of The Gray Wizard


Constiuent Order Noun Phrases Subordinate Clauses Misc. Constructs

Preliminary Concepts


"There is the grammatical and logical—a more purely intellectual pursuit: you can (without perhaps concerning yourself so closely, if at all, with the sound-structure, the coherence of the word form) consider the categories and the relations of words, and the various neat, effective, or ingenious ways in which these can be expressed.  In this case you may often devise new and novel, even admirable and effective machinery—though doubtless, simply because the experiment has been tried by others, your human ancestors and relatives, over such a large area for so long a time, you are not likely really to light on anything that in nature or in accident has never anywhere before been discovered or contrived; but that need not bother you.  In most cases you won't know; and in any case you will have had, only more consciously and deliberately, and so more keenly, the same creative experience as that of those many unnamed geniuses who have invented the skillful bits of machinery in our traditional languages, for the use (and too often the misunderstanding and abuse) of their less skilful fellows."

 (from The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays - A Secret Vice, by J.R.R. Tolkien [Houghton Mifflin Company 1984])