Riddle me this, Tolkien aficionados:
If elves have pointy ears, and men have, you know, normal rounded ears, what do half elven people have? less-pointy ears? does it depend on what "fate" they choose? if Elros had pointed ears as a child, did they go away when he decided to go with mortal men? What about Luthien? What about Aragorn and Arwen's son Eldarion, pointed or round?
I hope my point is becoming clear, that elves and men (almost entirely anatomically similar in tolkien's vision) having this one little, arbitrary bit of circus-freakishness separating them doesn't seem overwhelmingly likely. The association of elves with pointed ears comes from the later, generally diminished take on the creatures, popular in 19th century fairy tales (where there usually also a few inches tall and either winged like butterflies and/or really good at making shoes) rather than the older, loftier "alfir" you see in ancient norse mythology. It was from the latter that Tolkien seems to have been borrowing from predominantly for his conception of elves. The Eldar are perfected (or at least more perfected) humans; beautiful, wise, brave, and eternal. they are man's older brother, and together they are the two versions of God's children. I don't think any of that expels the possibility of them being pointy-eared per se, but I would hope that the vast, varied corpus of Tolkien fan art can accommodate one or two pairs of rounded, human ears, just to spice things up once in a while. (I'm all ears
if anyone's got a very convincing argument for pointy btw, but if it involves the '"las"= "leaf"/ "lasse"="listen"-therefore-elven-ears-must-be-pointed-like-leaves' theory, I don't consider that nearly conclusive enough)