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The Book of Na'Lon

or rather, Inane Ramblings of an Expatriot

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Ways to recognise Tolkien fans in their natural habitat, pt.1
Since the introduction of Tolkien into mainstream culture, the Tolkien fan has made an astonishing comeback. Since a recent survey has shown that many lit-life watchers are particularly interested in this particular species of literary fan, we have decided to provide a series of pointers that might help you spot this illusive creature.

Tolkien fans can easily be mistaken for the general public. They often pursue professions similar to those characteristic of the vast majority of the general public, and they are a very varied species. There are size and colour variations as well as differences in the calls and sounds these creatures make. But, don't despair, our useful tips should help you in identifying Tolkien fans in their natural habitat.

Today's pointer:

If two Tolkien fans meet each other, they often exchange terrible puns. These puns can be quite disconcerting, but do not generally lead to permanent damage. But the chance to see a Tolkien fan may be worth the minor discomfort to you.

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I think we should punish you for that slur on our character.

Err, I'll fetch my coat :)

It was the melon tossing (on the Pablo Picasso quote thread) that set me off. ;-)

That implies we're an endangered species.


Yeah... sometimes it feels like we are.*sighs*

Unless you consider fourteen year old girlies drooling over Legolas to be Tolkien fans... ;-)

There are some people who I first encountered as Squeeing fan-girls at the beginning of the academic year who are in danger of becoming Tolkien fans now :)

You don't mean...


It is my policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations


That is what we like to hear! Legolas certainly got my teenage cousin reading LotR, which, given that reading ain't really her thing, is quite an achievement.

So let's just hope that the Squeeing Fan-girl turns out to be a kind of larval state for Tolkien fans. {I think Na'Lon has been watching too many wild-life programs of late. -- Ed.}

Unfortunately, the terrible pun also appears to be the mating call of the common or garden geek; particularly the more mathematically inclined of these (geekus cubans).

AKA the geek with the killer mambo beat!

Ay caramba!

Too true. Fortunately, further installments in this series will help us learn to distinguish between geekus cubans and Tolkien fans.


These puns can be quite disconcerting, but do not generally lead to permanent damage.

...though sometimes it can be enough to make your hair curl!

Yep... you and I are living proof of that effect. :-)

I always thought Tolkein WAS mainstream culture. Which shows you the kind of culture I've always hung out in.

Was your teenage cousin disappointed that the Legolas of the actual book wasn't a skateboarding pretty boy?

Tolkien mainstream? Nah. The self-appointed monitors of mainstream tend to look upon Tolkien with disdain. ;-)

To my knowledge my cousin wasn't disappointed.

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