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Comments For Linguistic Foolery
I've found this list of 22 words very inspiring indeed! As someone who is intersex myself, I'm intrigued by the thought that Tolkien came up with a word for it, and wonder if he intended to use it in any way - the existence of the word itself seems to contradict what he says elsewhere about sex being an innate part of a person!
I do wish, however, that you had defined 'gwegwin' as 'intersex' rather than 'hermaphrodite' as, technically speaking, our species can't be actual hermaphrodites (as in, have two working sets of sexual organs at the same time), and, socially speaking, the term is considered misleading and offensive.
There are a wide variety of intersex conditions, and I would imagine that Elves, just like Men, could have any of them. But I wouldn't like to see stories out there where the concept of 'gwegwin' is used to justify mpreg or claim that Elves have two working sets of genitals or something - it feels too much like using the concept of intersex for titillation.
Obviously this was posted several years ago now, so I'm aware it probably won't be updated, but to anyone who is interested in writing about gwegwin and reading these comments - please do some research into intersex conditions at least before making stuff up for your fanfic.
Interesting list. It's noteworthy how all the raunchy words disappeared in the late lexicons, together with the not-so-Christian concepts. There's this entry from the Etymologies of the 30's though, just in case you want to add it (from Vinyar Tengwar 46: "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies part two":
YER- feel sexual desire. Q yere, N ir
I had to laugh because at one point or another I have probably fallen into most of the pitfalls you mention. And it does not take me half an hour to come up with a name, but half a week! Thank you very much for listing all the good points to check!!
The PDF link goes to the 22 words essay. Not sure if it is you or the webadmin who needs to fix it?
Such an interesting essay.
Oh, my goodness! That's definitely not a word that I thought Tolkien would provide us with. How random. Thank you for the entertainment! :)