Bust of J.R.R. Tolkien at Oxford University

J.R.R. Tolkien—author of The Hobbit, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Silmarillion, and other less-famous works—was born on January 3, 1892. I barely know where to begin extolling the virtues of this literary genius, so I’ll simply say: happy 127th birthday! I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind readers (especially those from places that are not in the United Kingdom) that “Tolkien” is not pronounced like the word “token” with an added L, so please stop saying it that way. It’s /ˈtɒlkiːn/, thanks very much—the first vowel is the one in “body,” and the second is the one in “see.” I think we can all make the extra effort to produce the correct vowel sounds in his name, considering all he’s done for us!

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