Some more fun and interesting tid-bits from Tolkien’s letters:
From 1959, in response to a request from cat breeder to register a litter of Siamese kittens under names taken from The Lord of the RIngs:
I fear that to me Siamese cats belong to the fauna of Mordor, but you need not tell the cat breeder that. (300)
An example of something that has become quite clear in reading Tolkien’s letters. The man had a sense of humour.
On writing fiction specifically for children (including “appropriate” vocabulary, etc.), which Tolkien did not like (he regretted much of how he’d written at least the first half of The Hobbit):
I am not interested in the ‘child’ as such, modern or otherwise, and certainly have no intention of meeting him/her halfway, or a quarter of the way. It is a mistaken thing to do anyway, either useless (when applied to the stupid) or pernicious (when inflicted on the gifted). I have only once made the mistake of trying to do it, to my lasting regret, and (I am glad to say) with the disapproval of intelligent children: in the earlier part of The Hobbit. But I had not then given any serious thought to the matter: I had not freed myself from the contemporary delusions about ‘fairy-stories’ and children.
… I think that this writing down, flattening, Bible-in-basic-English attitude is responsible for the fact that so many older children and younger people have little respect and no love for words, and very limited vocabularies—and alas! little desire left (even when they had the gift which has been stultified) to refine or enlarge them. (309-10, 310-11)