Non-Intersection of 1937 and 1951

I’m still intrigued by the uncommon words which are only in the 1937 Chapter 5 and not the 1951 and vice-versa.  What else can we see?

  • 1937: 1811 words, 152 uncommon words, 8.4% uncommon words
  • 1951: 3571 words, 347 uncommon words, 9.7% uncommon words

So – about the same percentage of uncommon words, about 2.2 times as many in the newer as the elder.  Good.  Now, what about our special categories of words?

Food Words?

  • 1937 – none
  • 1951 – none – excellent, I’m down with 0 = 0.

Archaic words?

  • 1937: durstn’t – [1937.05.095]   “Here’s the passage,”  he whispered.  “It musst squeeze in and sneak down.  We durstn’t go with it,  my precious,  no we durstn’t, gollum!”
  • 1951: dursn’t  – [05.124]  He peered in, and shrank back. ‘But we dursn’t go in, precious, no we dursn’t.  Goblinses down there.  Lots of goblinses.  We smells them.  Ssss!’

One word in each edition, different spellings of the same word in the same spot in the story, although additions in 1951 give the paragraph a higher number.  Very well, then, I will continue to be intrigued by the disappearing T from “durstn’t” and call this “almost no change”.  By the way, “leapt” and “smelt” do not qualify as archaic, but I would like to give them a nice shout-out for being older, less-common forms, and in particular “leapt” for its strong-verb status.

What about sound play words?

  • 1937: croaking  flip-flap fuss spluttering squeeze
  • 1951: cracking flapped gurgling hiss hissed hissing screech shriek shrieked shrieking sniffed squeaked squeaker squeaking ssss

Five in ’37 to fifteen in ’51, all of those are called onomatopoeic or echoic or imitative by the OED.  Let’s add to that, shall we?  What about Gollum’s sibilance, which has made uncommon words out of some common ones?

  • 1951: creepsy eyeses goblinses guesses hates iss losst musst nassty pocketses  ssorry tricksy (“guesses” and “hates” qualify when gollum-wise-agreeing with “we” as the pronoun!)

Eleven more sound play words.  But not all the added Ss are mis-spoken by Gollum; some are spoken correctly by him and some are outside of direct speech.

  • cursing guesses noser nosey shambling sharpened sharper sheathed shiver shivering shriek shrieked shrieking side-passages slide slimy sloping smells smelt snag sneaking softer splayed squeezes stab stiffened swayed unlost

Twenty-eight new words with Ss, most of which begin with S.  My, my, my.

Once upon a time, I thought of tagging words which bespoke violence or danger, but that proved fruitless.

 ‘But you speak of him as if he was a friend. I thought Fangorn was dangerous.’

‘Dangerous!’ cried Gandalf. ‘And so am I, very dangerous: more dangerous than anything you will ever meet, unless you are brought alive before the seat of the Dark Lord. And Aragorn is dangerous, and Legolas is dangerous. You are beset with dangers, Gimli son of Glóin; for you are dangerous yourself, in your own fashion. Certainly the forest of Fangorn is perilous…’

However, as an exercise, I would like to point out how many of the non-intersecting 1937 vs 1951 words speak to me of peril or just makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up?

  • 1937 – recklessly slipping
  • 1951 –  blindly blood-curdling bowstring  crawling creepsy crouched cursing gnaw goblin-imp goblinses groping gurgling hates  hiss hissed hissing jagged maddened menacing menacingly nassty noser nosey orcs palely pang panted pinch  screech shambling sharpened sharper sheathed shiver shivering shriek shrieked shrieking slimy smells smelt snag sneaking sniffed splayed squeaked squeaker squeaking squeezes stab stiffened swayed tense tricksy tripping tunnels unmarked

Alert readers may notice that some words like “slimy” are listed as non-intersecting although they can be found in both versions.  Remember that we analyzed only those paragraphs which differ.  “Slimy” is found in paragraphs 11 and 13 in both versions and is added to paragraph 12 and 77 in descriptions of Gollum.

“crack, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.

“fuss, n.2.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.

“leap, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.

“smell, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, June 2015. Web. 19 June 2015.

Tolkien, J.R.R. (2012-02-15). The Lord of the Rings: One Volume (p. 499). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

footnote: there’s a word for the hair on one’s skin standing up – horripilation.  I didn’t want to put cool jargon in the the way of comprehension, but wanted to be sure my Word Fans have this delightful word in their back pocketses!

1937 words

Only an observation today to satisfy our curiosity.  Details and conclusions and error-checking will come in the weeks ahead.  These words appear in the 1937 Chapter 5 of The Hobbit and do not appear in the 1951 edition, the one with which we are most familiar:

croaking   daresay   durstn’t   findings   flip-flap   funnily   fuss   good-bye   jags   politely   recklessly   shuddered   slipping   sneak   sometime   spluttering   squeeze   unsuspecting

My goodness!  “Funnily” and “good-bye” and “politely”!  what a different feeling.  Here follow those words which were added in our 1951 edition.  I have included links for those which have entries in the Concordance or other posts:

back-door   backwards   Baggins   betterment   birthday-present   blindly   blood-curdling   bowstring   brooded   cracking   crawling   creepsy   crouched   cursing   dursn’t   eyeses   flapped   flattened   forefinger   galled   gleamed   gnaw   goblin-imp   goblinses   groping   guesses   gurgling   hates   hiding-place   hiss   hissed   hissing   humped   iss   jagged   leapt   losst   maddened   menacing   menacingly   mouse   musst   nassty   noser   nosey   oddments   orcs   paddling   palely   pang   panted   peered   pinch   pocketses   pouch   pricked   quicker   screech   shambling   sharpened   sharper   sheathed   shiver   shivering   shriek   shrieked   shrieking   side-passages   slide   slimy   sloping   smells   smelt   snag   sneaking   sniffed   softer   splayed   squeaked   squeaker   squeaking   squeezes   ssorry   ssss   stab   stiffened   swayed   tense   tricksy   tripping   tunnel-wall   tunnels   unlost   unmarked

Please do note that both editions have “ss”, “sss”, and “sssss” in them – it’s just four esses, “ssss” which is unique to the 1951.  So many things to say about these words, but I had better save it for another day, in the morning after coffee when I’m fresh.