The gnomes were in love with clockwork. They just loved them some gears and wigwams and sprockets. Also, gewgaws. They were always making machines. They loved making machines so much they wanted other people to see them. Especially the elves. Boy, those gnomes loved sending their machines to the elves. The elves were somewhat bemused by all these machines that kept arriving all the time. (By flying clockwork delivery monkeys, natch.) Still, the elves were good sports and started casting effervescent, but strictly-tested, spells upon those machines to make them do other stuff. “Hey gnomes,” they’d say (via magical speakamaphone, obvs), “check out what we’ve magically done to your funky gizmoes! Now they spit out bananas/entice hummingbirds into houses/make everyone just feel groovy/etc/etc/etc!” The gnomes were all, “That’s great, elves. Only hey, we found something slightly off with JoklaryopterKlonk 17a37JuiceMonkeyX7892.xv5! Here’s our new version: JoklaryopterKlonk 17a37JuiceMonkeyX7892.xv6!” The elves were like, “Oh great! Now our hummingbird enticer thingy brings all the hummingbirds to the yard instead of our houses. Geeze.” It basically went on like that forever. But still, it was pretty great to be an elf and gnome, all things being equal.
Moral: Pretty sure the elves are always gonna have a hard time understanding the gnomes and vice versa.