Cryptoquote Spoiler – 04/08/11

The grave of J. R. R. and Edith Tolkien, Wolve...

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Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.”   — J.R.R. Tolkien

(Does nothing for me.  Hey, English teachers!  Is “that” correct in this context?  I’d a thought “who” would be more proper.)   — YUR

7 Responses to “Cryptoquote Spoiler – 04/08/11”


  1. 1 Lesley April 8, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Well, I’m not a big Tolkien fan to begin with so the quotation doesn’t do much for me either. I think I’d have to read it in context. Maybe it means “When things get tough, don’t give up.” Not sure! The word “that” is fine, and “who” can also be used. I just looked it up a few years ago for my 6th graders. “He” is also acceptable. The kids liked he/she or he or she. However, many people to be politically correct are saying such things as, “Each kid has their own book.” “Their” should never be used when the subject is singular! Ahhh…I ramble on!

  2. 2 Stephen Morris April 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Using the pronoun: Who vs. That

    Some Special Uses of Relative Pronouns in Restrictive Clauses using that/who

    When referring to people, both that and who can be used in informal language. “That” may be used to refer to the characteristics or abilities of an individual or a group of people:

    – Faithless is he that/who says farewell when the road darkens.
    – He is the kind of person that/who will never let you down.
    – I am looking for someone that/who could give me a ride to Chicago.

    However, when speaking about a particular person in formal language, who is preferred:

    – Unclearave is he who says farewell when the road darkens.
    – The old lady who lives next door is a teacher.
    – The girl who wore a red dress attracted everybody’s attention.

  3. 3 unclerave April 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Lesley,

    I got/get the gist of the quote. Although, I think the poetry of the line kinda contrasts with the reality of the situation. Nighttime is prime time for the highwaymen! You could just as easily replace *foolish* with *sapient* to make it more of a literal truism.

    Stephen,

    Thank you for the thorough explanation. I wouldn’t think that ol’ J.R.R. would make a grammatical mistake! My own grammatical skills are rudiment, at best. By the way . . . did you happen to get the girl in the red dress’ name?

    YUR

  4. 4 Stephen Morris April 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I’m sure it was Jenny Eclair. She played the girl in the red dress in the 2005 movie-short by the same name… Wait – maybe it was Shirley Henderson in the 2002 movie, also by the same name… Then again…

  5. 5 unclerave April 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    🙂
    YUR

  6. 6 Marg April 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    YUR – If we’re into correcting grammar, I’d say, “I’d have thought” would be more correct.

  7. 7 unclerave April 10, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Of course, you’re correct, Marg!

    And, I probably should have said “It does nothing for me”, or “The quote does nothing for me”, but I didn’t. Very often I’ll write as the *common man* speaks. Usually, for effect.

    Thanks for joining in. Luv ta hear from da readers!

    YUR
    🙂


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