Re: Runes in "The Hobbit"

From: Andrew West (
Date: Mon Mar 16 2009 - 04:30:28 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Runes in "The Hobbit""

    2009/3/16 Jonathan Coxhead <>:
    > Futhorc, except that I can only find 1 rune (ᚳ) to stand for both C and K.
    > In the edition I have, it looks like Tolkien used 2 different runes: the
    > rune for K having an extra corner, like a knee, in the diagonal stroke.

    That is something that I noticed as well recently. See the bottom of
    this blog post:


    > Are these 2 different runes encoded separately in Unicode?


    > Or is Tolkien exercising artistic licence?

    I would say that he was trying to create a new Runic orthography for
    modern English, and as is often the case when you try to adapt an old
    script to a new language it does not quite fit, and so he needed to
    devise a new Runic letter to distinguish C and K.

    > Or is there a case for encoding a new rune for K?

    It could be considered idiosyncratic usage, but given the importance
    of Tolkien's writings I think that there could be a case for encoding
    a new rune, especially now that people are trying (and not completely
    succeeding) to represent the Runic text of The Hobbit in Unicode on
    the web.


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