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Comparison of languages used

Tolkien created his languages from scratch while Tad Williams was, in his own words, ‘either mangling existing languages or making things that sounded like new languages’(28), so it is not possible to compare the created languages.

However, it is possible to compare the style in which they both have written. They both write in very good English. Tolkien writes in a way that might be classed as classic high middle English. He has a very large working vocabulary, probably in part due to his profession as a teacher of language, and through his amazing storytelling abilities, astounds and enthrals readers of all ages. He also has a gift for poetry and song which enlightens the mood of the narration.

Tad Williams also writes with a very large working vocabulary, though his style of language is definitely lighter than that of Tolkien, which perhaps makes for easier reading in today’s world, nearly forty-five years on from when The Lord of the Rings was first published. It should be noticed that Tad Williams’ background native speech patterns (American English) are sometimes reflected, although not in any way to the detriment of the work. For the most part his style is of a much higher middle English than that found amongst many of his fellow countrymen currently writing in the fantasy genre. Though Tad Williams also uses poetry and song, it is not in such profuse abundance as in Tolkien’s epic. His poetry though, does have a great classic quality to it, in a similar vein to Tolkien’s. Tad Williams’ narration captures the reader in its thrall and does not let go until the tale is done and the story totally unfolded. His written word is perhaps by today’s standard more compelling reading.

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