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I can’t. Every single sentence in this could not be more wrong if the author deliberately set out to be the wrongest person in wrongville. I just. 

I don’t care what else might be useful in this book, if your introduction is as fundamentally incorrect as this, the reliability of everything else you’ve ever said and that your editor has ever touched is immediately thrown into question. 

Monochromatic MY ASS. 

I… that is… such bullshit. Wool and silk are arguably the easiest fibers to dye. Cotton’s a stone bitch to color. (Let’s not even get into ‘change clothes irregularly’, that’s bullshit too.)

I know, right?? Protein fibres suck up dye like no-one’s business; it’s cellulose that hates it. 

And as for the others… linen bedsheets, bitch. And linen and silk woven so finely as to be practically transparent. And I’d like to take my records of inventories with 100+ linen shifts for one person, because of multiple-changes-per-day, and shove them up his grant. 

It’s like he assumes that without cotton we also wouldn’t have, like, modern inventions and techniques? “Wool is hard to clean” I mean yeah you have to use Woolite on the gentle cycle and air dry but that’s not that much harder than using normal detergent

wool being excellent to dye is its other great selling poin besides warmth- which is why ‘black sheep’ became a derogatory term, as black wool could not be dyed and thus was worth less as it would only ever be dark grey

historical perspective on the fabric alternate reality he proposes- linen was durable but not easy to dye, but you largely didnt care as it was undergarments or bedsheets where you wont be publicly showing off the linens- who other then nobility cares if their bedsheets are vibrantly colored? the reason you wore linen undergarments is that they breathe and protect you from any itchyness (wool that had been properly treated by a fuller {one of the worst jobs in history} would not have been very itchy either) of thick wool clothings and to keep you from getting sweaty or stinky, not to show off your bright red skivvies. linen is still freaking awesome, its comfortable, durable, breathes. i wish i had linen undies instead of cotton ones that get stretched out and threadbare after a few months. i wish i had linen and wool shirt options instead of only paper thin cotton shirts

the statement that sheep would require all the land ever- the deal with livestock through human history is that not all land is created equal, and livestock is how you used the areas that were sub-par. the fertile land you farmed crops, but there is far far more land thats unsuited for vegetables but grows grass just fine, as we cant eat the grass we set out animals like cows and sheep that CAN eat the grass and let them go wild chewin their cud and poopin on the ground while the humans are busy ploughing and harvesting on the more valuable land; allowing the ungulates to convert that grass into usable products like wool, cheese, meat, leather. there’s reasons some areas are covered with sheep and cows EVEN TODAY- either its not usable as croplands or the population nearby is so low that you couldn’t effectively organize labor to exploit farming. new zealand and australia have absurd numbers of sheep for this reason- the land is either too sparse, hilly, or remote, but wool can be exported for profit just fine. however areas like iowa and california have very few sheep as the land is better suited for grain and seasonal vegetables and using it for grazing would be less effective

further the statement that wool and linen are more labor intensive then cotton- theres a reason the cotton industry historically relied on slavery when wool and linen were historically a cottage industry people did in their spare time while being a full time farmer. you let a sheep out on the lawn to do its own thing, it grows the wool, once a year you shave it and spin it into thread- it produces more sheep and tasty mutton as well. linnen is made from flax plants, which are harvested with a sickle and then left in some water to rot for a week, split open, and the fibers inside spun into thread- teams up well with beekeeping as flax produces huge fields of beautiful flowers. in both the hard work is done by animals and a pond, not human hands. cotton however required you to not only plant it but spend time to pick individual bolls off of the flowering buds after it went to seed in the summer sun one at a time instead of mowing with a scythe like flax in an afternoon, which then had to have someone pick all the seeds out of each boll individually before spinning, theres no side product and it depletes the soil like a sonovabitch

pictured- super easy, giving a sheep a haircut would be so much worse right? im sure the man on a horse with a whip and gun is there to make sure everyone is having a good time

and finally the primary dumb part of the highlighted segment- the
assumption that if cotton didnt exist you would sleep on a pile of
straw. what? is this talking today or talking medieval times again? flipping NEOLITHIC folks were bright enough to lay a blanket on top of their straw pile before they took a nap on it.  even back
when straw beds were common you didnt lay on the straw, the straw was a
filling for a leather or canvas bag so that you didnt get poked, and even then chances are pretty good you stuffed your bed with
feathers because if theres something an agrarian society has more then
enough of its poultry. if you are talking today i challenge you to go to
a matress store and find a cotton filled bed- theyre filled with
springs or foam, and for all points and purposes the foam is just a high
tech version of straw that doesn’t rot. that, and any modern mattress
is synthetic fiber to combat body odor and sweat absorption

this is not how beds work

these pre-cotton folk seem to be pretty comfortable, even if they hadnt invented perspective yet. as there is no crown im pretty sure they werent importing their fabrics from india or egypt

oh, look, pre-cotton comfortable underwear, soft sheets, and a bed that looks excessively comfortable with no straw or furs in sight

a world without cotton isnt a world without soap either jackass

I love everyone in this thread thank you. 


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Oh my…

Okay, so my friend Chloe just pointed this out, and it’s amazingly accurate:

“Because of the scarcity of Dwarf-women, their secrecy and similarity in
appearance to males, and their lack of mention, many Men failed to
recognize their existence.”

Okay, so?

Well, Tolkien was a philologist, and a Norsist, and that means he knew Völuspá well enough to pull the names of every dwarf from Dvergatal and he had a pretty firm grasp Old Norse grammar.

In fact, he grasped it well enough that he knew if you dropped an n from a name ending in –inn, it changes from the masculine
definite enclitic

to the feminine.

Well, what the hell does any of this mean?

Well, I give you the names of the Dwarves from the Hobbit, as they appear in Dvergatal (stanzas 14-16) and in the order they appear:

Dvalins,* Dáinn,
Bívurr, Bávurr, Bömburr, Nóri,
Þorinn, Þráinn, Fíli, Kíli, 
Glóinn, Dóri, Óri

Now, in the Hobbit, they’re named as follows:

Dwalin, Dáin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Nori, Óin, Thorin, Thráin, Fíli, Kíli, Glóin, Dori, Ori.

Now, you notice something with the way those names got changed? That’s right, he changed the masculine -inn definite suffix to -in, which is feminine.**

That means that, at least grammatically, Dwalin, Dáin, Thorin, Thráin, and Glóin are female Dwarves.

Since we know Tolkien was meticulous about his grammar, this was done most likely as an in-joke (lol we’re so learnèd about Norse grammar that my comment on Dwarf women being indistinguishable from men is hilarious because of this grammatical funniness)

But there’s a not-inconceivable chance that the Dwarves were using the masculine pronouns in Westron because that’s what the Men who met them used, despite the fact that a third of the company was female, and
hey, it’s kinda neat to think he wrote a bunch of Dwarf-ladies going on an adventure.

*ins is the masculine Genitive definite article suffix in Old Norse

**He also dropped the double-r suffix, but -r as the root is still, in general, a masculine grammatical feature

@linddzz @salmiakkivodka

given Tolkien’s general approach to women he’s unlikely to have intended this but I don’t care I’m going to accept it as canon anyway

isn’t there stuff in the appendixes about the Hobbit language having ’-a’ as a masculine name ending and ’-o’ as feminine but then he changed all the Hobbit names anyway?


‘O’ and ‘e’ are feminine suffixes in hobbit-dialect Westron, which is not English.

Tolkien translated/Anglicized the names of all the hobbits into names that both sounded appropriate for their gender and reflected the aesthetic impression a native Westron speaker would get when meeting hobbits and hearing their language. It’s not about how The Hobbits Are Actually Girls (though that would be cool) it’s about how “Bilbo Baggins” gives a certain feeling when you as an English speaker encounter it – you get an idea of a character, perhaps, and it sounds just a little ridiculous – but you wouldn’t get that feeling from “Bilba Labingi”, the original hobbit-dialect Westron name.

(As to “Tolkien’s general approach to women”, yes, the man was sexist, I’m not going to deny that, but he was also meticulous and perfectionist when it came to language and there is no way this was accidental. No way at all. Not when he wrote an entire fake-academic-journal fanfic essay about why the Sindarin word ros had two translations, justifying it with in-universe linguistic drift.)

That being said, yeah, quite a lot of those dwarves were ladies. Headcanon accepted.

Headcanon so accepted.


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New goddess idea: She’s an earth goddess of the new age who’s domain is spinning and weaving, but specifically spinning and weaving gigantic structural steel cables for construction and other industrial purposes. Her skin is steel grey and hard to the touch and her hair is like long dredlocks of woven steel. She laughs at shitty architecture deigns that will fall apart if actually built and protects well-made bridges and buildings she likes. She might warn you of unforseen danger if you always wear your proper PPE.

Okay now what do I name her





That’s my goddess. 👍🏻

May O’sha bless you with earplugs that are comfortable and respirators that fit perfectly. 

the only divinity where you don’t take your hat off in the temple – you put your hat ON.

Our Lady of Health and Safety,

Hazard flies from thee.

Inform us of our rights at work,

Lead us not into destruction,

but deliver us from error.

Maketh us to lie down among blueprints

And lead us to good designs.

You give us appropriate PPE,

We shall not want.

Holy Lady, of engineers,

Pray for us sinners,

Now and at the end of our contracts.

In the shadow of the valley of evil

You show the way with adequate backup lights,

You deliver us from trip hazards.

For thine are the Great Works,

the power and pylon,

Now and forever.

Close paren.

This seems very apropos

today in “things i’m disproportionately emotional about”:






it’s facial reconstructions of prehistoric humans!!

like, look at this part-homo sapiens, part-neandertal man from well over 30,000 years ago:

doesn’t he just look like a dude you’d wanna hang out with? like he probably washes dishes in the kitchen with you, and has excellent weed

what a charming fellow. what stories he probably has to tell. i’d definitely go shoot the shit with him on Contemplation Rock after i’d finished my day’s work carving a bone flute for the autumn hunting ceremony, or whatever

people have been people ever since people first became people, i tell you what

they all had lives and histories and families and friends and dumb gossip and games they played and total bullshit in which they believed wholeheartedly

they all argued about the nature of the world, and of themselves

they all sang songs

they all drew pictures

they all buried their dead in graves, and they buried their dead in graves well before they did a lot of that other stuff. they buried their dead with flowers, with panther claws, with the bones of animals they’d killed, with the bones of family members who had died at the same time or earlier. they buried their dead with their arms folded across their chests

they fell in love

they took care of their old and their sick and their disabled, even when it cost them

they made new things, and worried about what the new things meant for people everywhere, as a whole

Oh I like him he looks like he would appreciate my jokes

I trust him v much