Thought for the day.

I was amused to find this paragraph wedged in the midst of an article on the BBC website.

Local media suggest the “orcs” were a reference to the goblins in the literature of JRR Tolkien, while the “turantons” may refer to a figure out of World of Warcraft.

As m’colleague rightly pointed out, the local media might want to consider that the “orcs” were a reference to the… orcs, in the literature of Tolkien.

For me, I had to wonder if ‘turantons’ lost something in translation, because I can’t think of anything relevant in World of Warcraft with that name. They may, of course, have meant Tauntaun, but clearly that’s an affront to all nerdkind to mix up such mythical beasts and their origins.

I think the lesson here is that media outlets need to employ a Nerd Correspondent, although I have to say that the media’s current method of taking a guess and then blaming it on World of Warcraft doesn’t seem so terribly far off from the MMO blogging norm; maybe MMO bloggers are journalists after all.

12 thoughts on “Thought for the day.

  1. welshtroll

    Featuring “fantasy heroes”!
    “I went expecting to see Thomas Covenant with a midget entourage, but all I found was a hungry crocodile eyeing up what few poodles were left.”

  2. Melmoth Post author

    “Da, this is Thomas Covenant the crocodile. Wha? He appears to have eaten most of ze midgets? Well he is an anti-hero dahrlink.”

  3. foolsage

    * coughs * So, technically, they’re correct. Orcs were simply a larger type of goblin according to Tolkien. He mostly called them goblins in The Hobbit and mostly called them orcs in LotR but they’re families of the same genus.

  4. Capn John

    Quick research does appear to validate Foolsage’s words that Goblin and Ork (Tolkien’s preferred spelling) are interchangeable.

    I saw Turanton as a tenuous reference to a “figure out of World of Warcraft”, and my first thought was of the Tauren.

  5. Melmoth Post author

    Reading the “Orcs, Goblins, and Uruks” section from Wikipedia leaves me more uncertain, but that may not be a terribly definitive source, and these sort of ‘discussions’ are rife on the Internet I’m sure.

    I’ll just say that if ‘orcs’ was used in the original, then switching to ‘goblin’ when ‘orc’ was still a valid option seems curious at best.

  6. foolsage

    I think the clearest sign about how goblins relate to orcs is in the index to LotR itself. Under “Goblins” the entry says, “see Orcs”.

  7. Stabs

    If you Google turanton the first hit is a player of that name listed on the warcraftrealms site.

    There is method in their madness even if it consists of skim reading a line of a google listing to get some approximation of meaning.

    Here is the little fellow, beloved of the Blade’s Edge WoW server and of Russian circuses.

  8. Zoso

    If you Google turanton the first hit is a player of that name listed on the warcraftrealms site.

    But does he live in Taunton and ride a tauntaun?

  9. Melmoth Post author

    Indeed so. From Wikipedia

    A therblig is the name for one of a set of fundamental motions required for a worker to perform a manual operation or task. The set consists of 18 elements, each describing a standardized activity. These are listed below.

    * Search
    * Find
    * Select
    * Grasp
    * Hold
    * Position
    * Assemble
    * Use
    * Disassemble
    * Inspect
    * Transport loaded
    * Transport unloaded
    * Pre-position for next operation
    * Release load
    * Unavoidable delay
    * Avoidable delay
    * Plan
    * Rest to overcome fatigue

    Although it sounds more like instructions for sex, if you ask me.

Comments are closed.