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RIK¹ root. “put forth effort, strive, endeavour, try”

RIK¹ root. “put forth effort, strive, endeavour, try”

This root was connected to Tolkien’s attempt to translate the phrase “try harder” into Quenya around 1967. √RIK “strive” first appeared in rough notes as a replacement for √NDEB which Tolkien thought was too close to “endeavor” (PE17/167). Tolkien then firmed up the meaning of √RIK in another note, giving it the gloss “put forth effort, strive, endeavour”, so that “try!” = ā rike in Quenya (PE17/93). Another note had √RIK meaning “try” in the sense “endeavour, make an effort, strive (to do something against an obstacle or opponent)”; this note indicated the root was intransitive and the preposition “against” was required before any obstacle (PE17/182). It seems Tolkien did not entirely abandon √NDEB, however, since a similar form √NDAB “endeavor, try, seek opportunity” appeared in Late Notes on Verb Structure (LVS) from 1969 (PE22/151); see that entry for discussion.

References ✧ PE17/93, 167, 182