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April 16th, 2005

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11:49 am - "The Shire" As A Fanfic Term
I reread the Wyvern's Library Rules today.

I noticed something in the Fan Fiction section that runs into some problems:
... The usage of the word "hobbit," "the Shire," and the elven language Quenya are all examples of fan fiction. In this case, of course, we're referring to J.R.R. Tolkien's "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" series.
True, most of these terms belong to Tolkein. The Shire, however, could be appropriately used anywhere. The word is used in the real world.
Merriam-Webster Online defines shire as 1 : an administrative subdivision; especially : a county in England.
With this definition, you could have Joe Mann coming home to the Shire of Landvalley, affectionately known as the Shire, in a world that has nothing whatsoever to do with Tolkein's Middle Earth. The use of the same term as Tolkein would be pure coincidence.
For that technicality, I suggest that "the Shire" be taken out of the quoted sentence.
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(8 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:April 16th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
We do look at the context of the story when dealing with terms like "the Shire". We are aware of the actual definition of shire. However, if the term is used and there are other references in the story that remind us of Middle Earth, it will be rejected as fan fiction. If not, then we'll go ahead and check the story as a separate item and deal with it accordingly.
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Date:April 17th, 2005 10:26 am (UTC)
That sounds sensible; but perhaps it is still a poor example to use in the rules. Something that is always wrong would make a better example.
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Date:April 17th, 2005 08:20 pm (UTC)
I assumed that you don't reject every story that has the word "shire" in it, but placing it in the rules could cause confusion. My concern is not about your view of the word "shire" but the way it is written in the rules.
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Date:April 16th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC)
Like ghostbard said (and we're both library coordinators), we don't just reject everything that says "Shire." We do reject everything that says "hobbit", though. Any shire isn't fanfic, of course, but THE Shire is. In that list it's quite obviously as one element of words that specifically relate to the Middle-Earth, nothing more.
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Date:April 16th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
is 'hobbit' really Tolkien's though, I'm sure I've seen it in another book...one that wasn't based on lord of the rings either....but I suppose theres really no excuse for not calling it a halfling (sp?) anyway...
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Date:April 16th, 2005 07:44 pm (UTC)
The word hobbit, coming from holbytla and with a whole etymology and language behind it, as well as the concept of the hobbits as a race and society? Very much Tolkien's. He quite likely based them on some existing mythology critter, but they're his creations and his alone. It's possible that someone has reused them, but that's not allowed on Elfwood. And I have yet to see a hobbit that wasn't using the entire concept and history of Tolkien's hobbits rather than just the name.
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Date:April 17th, 2005 08:52 am (UTC)

*adds that piece of info to her useless collection of hobbit info*

Should have known that already really considering how obsessed I am with Hobbits...
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Date:April 16th, 2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
is 'hobbit' really Tonlien's though..."

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