Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nerdiest. Correction. Ever.

Mets pitcher and Big Damn Nerd R. A. Dickey evidently has a thing for mythological fantasy. He's named two of his bats Hrunting (after Beowulf's sword) and Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver. Explaining the names to a journalist, however, he misspoke, leading to the nerdiest correction ever to grace the NYT sports page:

An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey gave one of his bats. Orcrist was not, as Dickey had said, the name of the sword used by Bilbo Baggins in the Misty Mountains in “The Hobbit”; Orcrist was the sword used by the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the book. (Bilbo Baggins’s sword was called Sting.)

Max Read ups the ante on them:

For extra-extra credit, note why "Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver" is not, technically, the name of Thorin Oakenshield's sword.

Because it isn't his sword! Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver was made by the elves of Gondolin for their lord Ecthelion of the Fountain, before it was looted by the worm Scatha during Morgoth's assault on the city, after which it was taken from his eastern hoard by the Men of Rohan, taken from them by the Dwarves, captured by ambushing forest trolls, and finally taken from the trolls' cache by Thorin Oakenshield and ultimately placed on his tomb in the Lonely Mountain, making the sword the legitimate cultural property of the surviving Gondolindrim in Valinor. The Elvish Antiquities Ministry should seek repatriation at once.

[He was evidently pointing out that Orcrist is the sword's technically name in Sindarin, and the Goblin Cleaver is its technically translation in English or Common or whatever the hell the PCs speak in Middle Earth. Very strictly speaking, the phrase should probably be rendered "Orcrist, 'the Goblin Cleaver'".]


  1. What is it with pitchers? Curt Schilling is enough of an Avalon-hill gamer that he bought the rights to Advanced Squad Leader so he could keep it in print.

  2. It seems like all baseball fans today are giant nerds, so it stands to reason there'll be some bleed into the sport itself.