Thanks to Goatboy for the pointer to this (tongue-in-cheek) opinion piece on (where else) The Onion:
Don’t Come Crying to me When You Need Someone Who Speaks Elvish
by Larry Groznic
The Onion – April 9, 2003
Really, Steven. Of all people, I expected more from you.
Until now, I was greatly impressed by your intellectual curiosity. Aren’t you, after all, the person with whom I once had a three-hour message-board conversation concerning the story arc of the legendary series Blake’s 7? Was it not you who listened attentively to my passionate argument in favor of allowing Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara to rise from her wheelchair and walk again? And are you not the same person who, once I guided you to the myriad shifting universes of Roger Zelazny, devoured them with the intellectual curiosity of a young Ender Wiggin?
Such a thirst for knowledge I once saw in you. And yet now, you question whether learning Elvish is “worth the effort.” Elvish! At once the cornerstone and most elusive of the great J.R.R. Tolkien’s creations!
To be intimidated by the fact that mastery of Elvish takes a lifetime–that I can comprehend. But for you to question its usefulness or intrinsic value, Steven, how could you? I tell you now: Do not come crying to me when you need someone who speaks Elvish.
In all honesty, I do not see why you would shy from this challenge. No, it is not easy, but you had already made some inroads. You recognized the essential difference between the Cirth “runes” of Balin’s tomb and the Tengwar “letters” corrupted by Sauron upon the One Ring–so basic and fundamental a difference that many students overlook it, to their later dismay. And, although I feel the high-elven dialect of Quenya would have given you trouble and Valarin, the tongue of the Valar, would likely forever elude your grasp, I thought you certainly capable of one day becoming conversant–if not fluent–in Sindarin. But it was not to be, for you, like Radagast The Brown, have chosen the path of blissful ignorance. In so doing, you turn your back on the riches of the world.
Click the link below to read the entire article!