hurl at a moth/hurl at a gong

Discussion in 'English Only' started by opjeshke, Apr 21, 2017 at 4:57 PM.

  1. opjeshke

    opjeshke Senior Member

    Tirana, Albania
    In this letter Tolkien sends to Lewis (the third in a row), Tolkien mentions:

    "hurl at a moth"/"hurl at a gong"

    I am sorry not to have much context, but I would need help to fully get the idea behind as I am reasearching, but not finding much...

    Thank you!

    Missing context:
    I was strolling through the garden today thinking about inventing a whole language just for plumbers when Should Hobbits be small enough to hurl at a moth or big enough hurl at a gong, when I had an incredible idea for a book called The Hobbit [....]Should the hobbits be small enough to hurl at a moth or big enough to hurl at a gong?
    Added by Cagey, moderator
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017 at 2:02 AM
  2. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    You need to look at the words preceding these which are about the possible size of Hobbits. "Small enough to hurl at a moth" suggests something quite small because a moth could be damaged or killed with something light and not very big. ". . . Or big enough to hurl at a gong". I think "gong" here means a very large bell of the type you find in church towers in Britain, some of which weigh hundreds of kilos. To make such a bell ring you would need to throw at it something quite large and heavy.
  3. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    Note that the link is to Clickhole, a parody site run by The Onion (a parody newspaper site). It may be obvious, but in case it isn't: these are not real letters written by Tolkien and Lewis. They are made-up letters intended to be funny.

    The authors are just making amusing size comparisons.
  4. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    I'm glad you added that point because I thought they were real letters. I was amazed to find one distinguished author revealing plot to another and asking advice about it.
  5. opjeshke

    opjeshke Senior Member

    Tirana, Albania
    Thank you @Retired-teacher!
    I had a doubt @pob14 but you really helped me a lot pointing that out. Thank you!
  6. Scott AM

    Scott AM Senior Member

    English - Canada
    And I was quite amazed to read C.S. Lewis refer to supporting characters in his works as "miscellaneous magical m*****f*****s TBD". :eek:
  7. Retired-teacher Senior Member

    British English
    I didn't bother to read that far down the page. If I had done so then the penny would have dropped.
  8. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    I'm very much looking forward to the Narnia book where Aslan eats the Pevensie children. ;)
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