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I mean an afterthought in that he was most interested in languages. If he made the languages first, and the story afterward as a way to give life to the languages, I would call the story an afterthought since his primary focus was on the languages. But like I said, I can't remember where I read that, so take it with a grain of salt 8)
Well, he spent a couple years on the languages, besides improving them I guess as he went along.
Then he spent like 60 years on the story.
So I don't really think either one is really an afterthought, by definition. :3
It is true that he started with the languages, though.
Edited by Verelyse on 5/9/2013 5:02 PM PDT
If the story was his second idea after the languages, that would make the story the thought that came after the languages idea, no? Or an afterthought, by definition 8)
I am not saying the story wasn't a big part of his life. Just that the story wouldn't be around if he hadn't been interested and invented his own languages first.
An afterthought is a reconsideration of or change to the original design. It doesn't apply to this case.
I suppose so, and I am not wanting to get into a debate over the validity of different definitions, BUT 8) -An item or thing that is thought of or added later- is the very top answer from googling Afterthought. I am at a loss on how that doesn't apply. He thought of and added a backstory AFTER he came up with the languages.
It's an incomplete description; it's implicit that an afterthought implies something of a secondary or auxiliary nature. You wouldn't call a skyscraper an afterthought because it came after its foundation.
Or, more appropriately, you wouldn't call using a tool an afterthought after you manufactured said tool. I believe Tolkien's love of languages and his desire to write were complementary, not codependent.
I guess you could call later adjustments to those languages afterthoughts, though.
AND WHY YOU NO MOVE A CHESS PIECE.
Edited by Verelyse on 5/9/2013 10:29 PM PDT
I do see the story as secondary or as supplement to his languages. I assume he came up with his languages, knew it would interest nobody else as is, so he created the story after to give life to the language. Of course I can't back any of that up because I don't remember where I heard it from, so again, take it for whatever it's worth )
And I am more of a checkers kind of gnome 8)
I'm mostly arguing because I'm bored. But afterthought just sounds... crass. Tolkien wrote about the world he created being "linguistic in inspiration" and that "The invention of languages is the foundation. The 'stories' were made rather to provide a world for the languages than the reverse. [....] It is to me, anyway, largely an essay in 'linguistic aesthetic', as I sometimes say to people who ask me 'what is it all about'."
So I get what you mean.
But calling something like that an afterthought just seems depreciative in the extreme.
I'd much rather refer to it as a source of inspiration or something along those lines. And it probably would be appropriate to call them codependent from what I've just read. It seems they influenced each other.
Anyway, you can stop humoring me at your discretion. I won't mind. :3
I certainly don't know everything about this either, although it's fun to keep learning more about it.
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