If a Ranger has "Elf" or "Orc" as their Favored Enemy, does this encompass Half-Orc and Half-Elf as well, or would they be considered entirely separate races from their pure-blood counterparts?
I have been trying to find anything official on this, but as yet have been unable to. I even tweeted to Jeremy Crawford to get his input on this, but he has yet to respond. I know that the logical answer would probably be yes (especially since older editions have stated that half-bloods are counted, but nothing of the sort for 5th Edition). But if anyone knows if there is an actual official text saying definitively what the answer is to this, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Here's three good rules of thumb when reading the rules:
Rules do exactly what they say; nothing more, nothing less.
Something is an X if and only if some piece of rules text says it's an X.
Past editions are irrelevant.
A half-elf is not an elf. It's a distinct race with a distinct name and set of racial traits, presented in its own section of the Races chapter. It's not an elf subrace. There's no text that says anything along the lines of "half-elves are elves that..." No matter how many similarities they have to elves - even if the word "elf" appears in its name! - as far as the rules are concerned, they're completely unrelated. Another hint that this is the case is the racial feats in Xanathar's Guide to Everything; they list them separately.