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Profile: Ed Carter
User Name: Ed Carter
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Joined: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Last Visit: Friday, December 7, 2018 2:18:39 PM
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Topic: Bilbo Baggins' quote - Could some one explain
Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2018 4:10:16 PM
There are 3 groups of people

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like ..."
a) People he would like to know more (50%)

"and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
b) People he knows but doesn't treat them the way they deserve which could be for the better or worse (1% - 49%)

(The unspoken left overs)
- Because group b is some number between 1 and 49% there is a remainder of unaccounted for hobbits that fall into this category
c) People he knows and treats them exactly the way they deserve, which again, could be for better or worse.

If there are 100 hobbits 50 of them are people he would have liked to have known more. Group A.
Then you have a variable, 1 - 49. Group B. <-- you can't have fractions of hobbits this early in the book.
Of those hobbits, in his estimation, the number of hobbits in group b have not been treated as well as they deserve. For better or worse.
50 in group a
40 fall into group b
Some number of those members of group b 1-40 are people who he thinks have wronged him and he should have put more energy into treating them as poorly as he was treated.
While the other members of group b treated him kindly but he didn't put as much effort into making them friends.
The last set are people who get exactly what the deserve. In our example that would be 10 hobbits.
10 in group c
Let's say of that group 5 are people he knows very well and likes them and treats them like friends.
The other 5 are people he knows very well, dislikes them, and treats them the way he means to.

All in all the only thing he says for certain is that he didn't get to know half of them as well as he might have liked. The rest is this vague math with more variables then answers and leaves it for his audience (the hobbits in attendance) to figure out which category they fit into. The only clue the audience has is context. He starts by saying that 111 years was to short a time to live among such admirable and noble hobbits. Clearly stating that he has a positive opinion of the majority of them. So there are probably more people in the b and c group that he would count as friends or would have liked to have treated better.

In summary I would have liked to have known more of you because I believe the lot of you are for the most part fine characters. Some of you I have not treated with the respect or admonition that I should have, and the rest of you, you know that I either care for you or despise you because I have treated you exactly the way I meant to.

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