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A History of Invented Languages — Sans Tolkien?

06.03.09 | Kunochan | Speak, friend & comment!

On Salon today, a review by Andrew O’Hehir of Arika Okrent’s book In the Land of Invented Languages.

The book seems very entertaining, but O’Hehir points out a bizarre flaw — it barely mentions Tolkien.

Bizarrely, [Okrent] appears to know next to nothing about “Lord of the Rings” creator J.R.R. Tolkien, a towering figure in linguistic and philological history, and the father of the entire conlang movement. I guess Okrent is a hotshot modern-day academic linguist and Tolkien occupies the blind spot in her rearview mirror, but the effect is something like reading a book on American history that barely mentions Thomas Jefferson.

The book spends a few pages discussing The Professor, but to O’Hehir it seems tacked on at the last minute, perhaps by an editor who said “wait, did we forget something?”

Read the review here; check out the book here.

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