edit:l

possibly one of my least favorite things about being a lesbian is that im going to know and be with and love so few people. im going to be so isolated. im not gonna have casual hookups, im not gonna get many chances to explore my sexuality and romanticism, im not gonna really Date, im not gonna have a network of friends and l*vers and etcetera like most people would. there are so few lesbians in the world that im not going to be able to have a social or romantic or sexual life that isnt just grabbing onto whoever and whatever i can get.

so Shire-talk is canonically a very different dialect of Westron than what Gondorians or Elves or whatever speak and some of the hobbits can code switch between the two and it’s extremely interesting to see how Tolkien portrays it

I’ve just gotten to the part where Frodo meets Faramir, and the difference between how he talks to Faramir and how he talks to Sam, for instance, is v noticable

with Sam he’s a lot more casual and even slightly more modern (for the value of 1954, not 2017) vs with Faramir where he switches to this very formal, quite archaic to our ears (“seven companions we had”)

and then Sam himself doesn’t seem comfortable speaking this prestige dialect (his style includes rather more general “vernacular” features common across regional nonliterary English dialects) - probably bc unlike Frodo he was not given the type of education that would lend itself to learning how to speak it comfortably - so there’s this clash between how Faramir talks to them and how Sam talks back

there’s also the bit where Theoden meets Merry and Pippin, and Merry greets him in very high formality, Pippin addresses Gimli casually bc they’re friends, then turns to Theoden and switches to the formal style, they both talk some more to him, and then after he’s gone Pippin turns to Merry and says Theoden was a “fine old fellow, very polite” (in the more casual style)

In that one scene you have a lot of style switching depending on the person they’re addressing and their status and relationship to the hobbits, but, for instance, Gimli’s sentence structure sounds more like the formal dialect even when he’s happily berating them and calling them villains, probably because he doesn’t use Shire-talk

basically: you can tell this dude was a linguist

8

“Not all lowly people are ignorant”