Dennis wrote:

> But to be clear, I wasn't
> suggesting that "níamdu fír febaib" is the original line,
> only that a familiarity with gnomic formulas of the sort
> found in BFF might have influenced a scribe to rewrite
> ("reunderstand") it into that form.

Sorry, I misunderstood you then.

> I think one way of getting closer to the original is to
> plausibly account for the divergences in the
> transmission of the text.

Certainly. If the scribe of L changed niain on purpose into niam(du) (and if it didn't happen by sheer carelessness) it at least tells us that he, like we, could make no sense
out of *ní-ain fír febaib. But unfortunately this still doesn't tell us anything about the author of I2T ca. 300 years before the LL scribe.