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Old 01-03-2013, 11:09 PM   #54
Morthoron
Curmudgeonly Wordwraith
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhod the Red View Post
Emissary has an official inference though, the Istari's mission was secret. The casual reader would think otherwise because the word 'emissary'. That was the point I was making.
Emissary is most certainly applicable. Just because you haven't the faintest idea of the word's meaning does not disqualify its proper usage. In any case, the "official" inference applies to the Istari, as they were sent on a specific mission by the Valar. If you looked up the etymology for the word "emissary" (which in your case would be profitable), you will find the following:

L. emissarius, lit. "that is sent out," from emissus, pp. of emittere "send forth".

The word was used by the Romans in regards to spying, or an agent sent out on a secret mission. It is certainly not as specific as "ambassador" which implies a letter of credentials being turned over to another government.

As far as what the "casual reader" would think, I would hope they would look up the word if they were unsure of the meaning. This is how one attains a better vocabulary. But the Istari were emissaries of the Valar; in fact, that is a word Tolkien uses on several occasions in regards to them in his Letters.

So you are completely out of line on several levels.
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