PDA

View Full Version : When does many become many?


Fisherman
07-23-2009, 06:38 PM
Right, here we are then!

This is an issue on which I need as many as possible to comment! We need to settle a very specific matter. sorting under the big Leander war.

The facts of the case are these:

In Frank Leanders first post, he wrote, in an effort to describe what could have had caused the differences inbetween the signatures he was looking at:

"The differences could be explained by H. being relatively young at the first writing occasion, the surrounding circumstances as available writing space, function of the pen and similar things."

In a later post, he worded the same matter:

"It was just one of many possible explanations to the differences".

Inbetween these posts, I had stated that Leander obviously was of the opinion that there could have been many explanations to the differences.

When Leander in his later post used te word "many" to describe the amount of possible explanations to the changes, Ben tells me that this would have been because I had "put words in his mouth". He also tells me that Leanders first description does not tally with the word "many". He goes on to claim that Leander by this switch of vocabulary shows us that he is not circumspect, and he says - on the whole - that the reason for Leanders changed phrasing would have been that he had grown tired of me, and needed to fob me off.

Once again, this is quote one:

"The differences could be explained by H. being relatively young at the first writing occasion, the surrounding circumstances as available writing space, function of the pen and similar things."

In it, Leander listed at the very least five possible explanations to the differences, elaborating on three:

1: The age of the writer
2. The surrounding circumstances as available writing space
3. The function of the pen

..and to that he added

4: Similar things

...using the word "thingS, that is plural.

That implies that he has exemplified three different things, and then added that there may have been other things involved too, of similar character. And the way I read him, he leaves the possible number of explanations open.

Quote number two again:

"It was just one of many possible explanations to the differences".

Here, Leander does not exemplify - he instead chooses to use the word "many".

According to Ben, these two phrasings go to show that Leander has changed his mind, and he identifies the probable reason as me "putting words in" Leanders mouth.

My suggestion is that the two phrasings describe the exact same thing: That there were many possible explanations to the differences.

The choice of the word "many" is what mostly seems to annoy Ben. But "many" is by far the most common word used in Sweden to describe a multitude. The Swedish word, by the way, is built on the same material as it´s English equivalent: many - många.

Are there any one-word synonyms that he could instead have used? Yes, one springs to mind, the Swedish equivalent of the British "numerous": "åtskilliga". But this is a word that is very rarely used, and it mostly comes to use in more formal texts. It is seldom used in spoken language.
Apart from this, there are constructions of two or more words that can mean "many": En hel hop, en samling, en ansenlig skara. But none of these are used even remotely as many times as the extremely common "många".

A googling of the two words "många" and "åtskilliga", gives at hand that "åtskilliga" occurs 414 000 times, whereas "många" gets a number of 27 900 000.

What I need you to do is to chime in, all of you if possible, and tell me if you are of the meaning that Leander gave messages that swore against each other as quoted. Did he prove himself not circumspect? Can you identify any will on Leanders behalf to fob me off by adjusting to my wishes here?
Please refrain from the other issues of the Leander analysis, and focus on this issue only!

What is your meaning? Tell me, please!

the best,
Fisherman
who plans to eat out tonight - but I will return to have a look at your verdict later this evening. And please don´t forget to pass that verdict!

Jane Welland
07-23-2009, 07:02 PM
Why don't you ask Leander these questions, Fisherman?

Surely he himself is in the best position to know whether he 'fobbed you off' or not?

For myself, I don't see what was wrong with his first response - why not just leave it at that?

Now that the whole business with what Leander said and didn't say, meant and didn't mean, is completely out of hand - do you think many will really enjoy entering into yet more lengthy wrangling on the subject?

Ask Leander if you have doubts. Even if people do tell you what they think, what will it prove to you?

For all you know, they could be fobbing you off as well!

If you are in fact asking people to pick 'sides' here, then please don't. You may want a war with Ben but not everybody shares your desire.

Why can't we all be friends?

Regretfully,

Jane x

Fisherman
07-23-2009, 09:55 PM
Jane Welland asks:

"Why don't you ask Leander these questions, Fisherman?

Surely he himself is in the best position to know whether he 'fobbed you off' or not?"

He is. And I have. He said that it was a malicious interpretation on Ben´s behalf.

What is you own wiew, then: Was leander entitled to use the wordings he did without having it said that he had changed his mind?

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-23-2009, 09:58 PM
Come on now, I need some answers to my question! Was Leander entitled to phrase himself as he did on the "many" subject?

The best,
Fisherman

Jane Welland
07-23-2009, 10:00 PM
How quiet it is around here?

Ask yourself why?

Best wishes, Fisherman

Jane x

Fisherman
07-23-2009, 10:14 PM
You tell me, Jane - if the prerogative of interpreting belongs to you. One of the reasons may be that people will perhaps feel intimidated by what has been going on on the other threads, whereas another may be that many realize that Ben will not change his mind no matter what.

It´s anybodys guess, Jane - and certainly not yours only.

The best,
Fisherman

perrymason
07-23-2009, 10:33 PM
If I can say this in a gentlemanly fashion.....worrying about anything that relates to George Hutchinson as far as the Ripper cases are concerned is without tangible merit to the furthering of knowledge about the real victims and the real cuplrit(s)...based on the cumulative data that is available.

Being so preoccupied with this man makes little or no sense to me personally...he wasnt a situation that the contemporary lawmakers worried about...he was formally tagged as a "discredited witness".... just like Packer is... less formally. Yet I dont see hundred page threads about Mr P.

Beating this mans writing and reputation up is completely unnecessary and tiresome quite frankly...its why I dont contribute much to those threads anymore.

Worrying about who was the real George is like worrying about what makes George Bush tick....who cares anymore.

Best regards Fisherman and Jane

Fisherman
07-23-2009, 10:41 PM
All very sensible, Mike - but you forgot to answer the question! Was leander entitled to express himself as he did, quoted in post one? Take a deep breath, Mike, and let me know! I fully respect if you wish not to answer it, but I would much appreciate any bid on this one!

The best,
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-23-2009, 11:20 PM
Nobody, as far as I'm aware, has seriously suggested that Packer was the Ripper, Mike, still less written any book on about it. Hutchinson has at least two to his name - or three, if one includes Eddleston's Encyclopedia, which favours Hutchinson over other suspects.

perrymason
07-23-2009, 11:34 PM
Hi again,

I realize that Packers not the same fodder for speculating about Jack that Hutchinson is Sam...Im just saying that regardless of who thinks he should be a suspect, now or then, there is nothing with which to support that allegation.. aside from speculation about the possibility he was indeed the Wideawake Hat man. Which is a part of a story that wasnt believed by the investigators.

As per your request Fisherman, I think "many" is being used to allow for possibilities that include that the signatures were not from the same person.

Is that what you were asking for?

All the best FM, Sam, Jane.

Stephen Thomas
07-23-2009, 11:58 PM
Being so preoccupied with this man makes little or no sense to me personally...he wasnt a situation that the contemporary lawmakers worried about...he was formally tagged as a "discredited witness".... just like Packer is... less formally. Yet I dont see hundred page threads about Mr P.

Beating this mans writing and reputation up is completely unnecessary and tiresome quite frankly...its why I dont contribute much to those threads anymore.



Well said, Michael. And 'tiresome' is the perfect word for these Hutchinson debates. As far as I'm concerned, if George murdered Mary Kelly he would have to have been the stupidest murderer in the history of the world to walk into a police station and give that statement. Also, whether Hutch was Toppy or not is really neither here nor there in the last analysis.

Best wishes

Sam Flynn
07-24-2009, 12:18 AM
Also, whether Hutch was Toppy or not is really neither here nor there in the last analysis.
True, but it'd still be useful to be able to put a face to the name, Stephen, and a biography based on something more than hearsay and/or speculation. Comparative rarities in the Ripper case, especially at the Kelly end of the spectrum.

Fisherman
07-24-2009, 12:20 AM
Mike writes:

"As per your request Fisherman, I think "many" is being used to allow for possibilities that include that the signatures were not from the same person.
Is that what you were asking for?"

No Mike, it was not - read the first post and you will get it!

The best!
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-24-2009, 12:21 AM
Ehrm...Sam, Stephen... An answer perhaps, to the question put in post one? Maybe? Perhaps? Please...?

the best,
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-24-2009, 12:39 AM
Hi Fish

I fully agree with your understanding of what Leander said - it's just that I'd rather not get involved in another game of cyber ping-pong about it.

Jane Welland
07-24-2009, 01:02 AM
Fisherman, and this is it.

Yes, of course, Leander was 'entitled' to express himself any way that he chose. He was never under any obligation to express himself at all, but he did, and what he said, as interpreted by yourself, was up to him.

In fact, freedom of speech applies equally to everybody in our society - and here, too. You are entitled to think what you like about Toppy, and to express that view here if you so choose.

Others are entitled to their own views, whether or not they concur with your own.

Everybody should be at liberty to express their own view on the matter without condemnataion, with the usual caveats, obviously.

A person who disagrees with you is not automatically an enemy - the exchange of ideas is the manner in which progress of thought is made - imagine if people had never disagreed with one another - who would ever have learned anything?

There is your answer.

Best wishes


Jane x

Ben
07-24-2009, 04:22 AM
Fisherman,

I specifically pleaded with you not to write an unnecessarily long explanatory post on the issue, especially when you had the opportunity to provide a URL to the earlier discussion in which this was agonized over. I dearly hope this isn’t another one of your settlements again, since they generally demand that people either agree with you or embrace a position that you insist must be wrong. Terribly annoying, but par for this particular course, and since you’ve chosen to dredge up a previously disputed contention again, here goes:

“Fisherman referred to there being "numerous" or "many" explanations for the differences between the statement signatures and those of Toppy. After reminding anyone who needed reminding that the explanations for the differences were only “possible” ones (and not necessarily explanations that he felt actually DID come into play in this case), I was quick to draw attention to the fact that Leander used no such adjective. Nothing about "many", and nothing about "numerous". Back he went to Leander, who "clarified" with the following:

"It was just one of many possible explanations to the differences".

How odd that the very word that Fisherman wrongly claimed appeared in Leander's first post suddenly appeared in Leander's rather timely "second" post”

The word “Many” has an unambiguous meaning – it means “lots of” - but Leander stated that there were “many” explanations. Indeed, he listed a very small number of possible explanations to account for the differences, and never expressed the opinion that any one of those explanations actually did come into play in this case. You make the bizarre inference that his reference to “similar” things means that there were a whole myriad of differences that he mysteriously neglected to specify, thus validating the “many” reference, but a closer inspection of his words once again reveals a very different picture.

Let us firstly deal with the “similar things” observation. Well, for starters, it is important to observe that none of the cited possible explanations for the differences had any similarity with each other, and as such, it stands to reason that the other unmentioned explanations could only have mean “similar” to the last mentioned difference for the sentence to make sense, and the last mentioned difference was “function of the pen”. Now just what, one wonders, could be a “similar thing” to the “function of the pen”? Well, there are bound to be a few things, but certainly not an infinite number, and certainly not enough to validate the observation that there were “many” differences.

But, of course, I never had any desire to dredge up this nonsense again. I only do so now because Fisherman took the extraordinary decision to continue a long-buried argument by quoting a long post from yester-month. A very bad, imprudent decision if I may say so, Fish. No, there is no evidence that Leander said or meant that there were “many” explanations that could account for the Toppy/Hutch differences. Once again you’ve decided to construct your post in such a way as to ensure that those with an opposing stance to your own are portrayed in a negative light because they have a chance to arrive at any informed conclusion on the matter. A sort of “You must agree with me, because if you don’t, I’ve already made careful plans to insist that you are wrong.

Ben
07-24-2009, 04:29 AM
Hi Stephen,

As far as I'm concerned, if George murdered Mary Kelly he would have to have been the stupidest murderer in the history of the world to walk into a police station and give that statement

Please don't think I'm being antagonistic or aggressive when I say this, but you'd be giving yourself a much better opportinity of disabusing yourself or such demonstrably false statements if you read up a little more on the actions known to have been resorted to by serial killers on occasions, and that includes the more organized and intelligent ones. Such research would only enrich your opinions, which you must surely agree is a good thing.

Serial killers are most emphatically not "stupid" to introduce themselves to police forces under false guises or when giving false statements.

Im just saying that regardless of who thinks he should be a suspect, now or then, there is nothing with which to support that allegation

Except for a knowledge of the Whitechapel murders and a knowledge of the tactics resorted to by known serial killers, Mike, and that should count for a great deal. None of that automatically warps hi into "Jack" of course, but he's certainly a suspect in the Whitechapel murders, and fares a good deal better than most in terms of legitimate suspicions.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-24-2009, 06:01 AM
I meant:

"Once again you’ve decided to construct your post in such a way as to ensure that those with an opposing stance to your own are portrayed in a negative light before they have a chance to arrive at any informed conclusion on the matter."

Roy Corduroy
07-24-2009, 06:32 AM
How odd that the very word that Fisherman wrongly claimed appeared in Leander's first post suddenly appeared in Leander's rather timely "second" post


He meandered.

Roy :pleased:

Fisherman
07-24-2009, 11:13 AM
Ben writes:

"I specifically pleaded with you not to write an unnecessarily long explanatory post on the issue"

I dread to think, Ben, where we would have ended up if I was to listen to your advice. You have presented an untenable, undecent and intellectually corrupt argument on the issue of whether "five or more" could equate to "many", and so you are going to have to be faced with it.

Your argument this time goes like this:

"The word “Many” has an unambiguous meaning – it means “lots of” - but Leander stated that there were “many” explanations. Indeed, he listed a very small number of possible explanations to account for the differences, and never expressed the opinion that any one of those explanations actually did come into play in this case."

He listed, as you perfectly well know, three NAMED possibilities, and added that there may be similar things (plural) that could have played a role to. If I was to START on a list, it would read something like:

1. The leaning of the surface he wrote against
2. Possible physical restraints attaching to the writer at the time of the writing
3. Possible intoxication of some sort
4. Degree of agitation of the writer
5. Was he standing or sitting when writing
etc, etc, etc

These - if I am correct - would be some of the "similar things" Leander spoke of. Mind you, these are suggestions on my behalf, and I do not claim to be an expert, but it seems realistic enough to my eyes.

When, Ben, you say that he "never expressed the opinion that any one of those explanations actually did come into play in this case" you are making a worthless point. He said that these types of explanations were examples of what could have lain behind, and that is enough. He would many times be at a loss to decide exactly what had happened, but equally knowledgeable to see that one of many reasons could have caused the change - which is exactly what he tells us.

Like I said, I am no expert. Therefore I remain listening when it comes to what experts say. That, however, is something you do not apply. This is where you stand on the matter right now:

When I say that I need to see the Iremonger investigation to believe it, you retort:

“But you'd be a fool to "comment on her competence" even if you were in full possession of her written analysis, Fisherman, since you don't have anything like the necessary expertise to "assess" her "assessment".

So, since I am not a document expert, although I have read up on the subject and discussed it with my countries best known and reputed expert, I remain a fool.

But when you need to defend Martin Fidos right to have understood the same investigation, and Fido is a man who – just like me – is no document expert, but who may have read up on it – then you interestingly say:

“Martin Fido's commentary on Sue Iremomger's professionalism and findings could only have been buttressed by a close familiarity with her methods and the conclusions she arrived at as a consequence”

I find this somewhat hard to reconciliate. On the other hand, I find it very telling of your methodology, Ben.

Now, who is the next fool around here? You are, Ben, of course! And why? Because you are just as badly read up on document examining as I am. That is why you humbly comment Leanders statement that the function of the pen can have an influence of the writing like this:

“Yes, this one was fairly amusing first time around, and hasn't lost its mirth value since. "Function of the pen" - as though it has more than one function besides writing. I suppose I can think of one other function that might be appropriate here if people want to keep repeating themselves from earlier debates. If we're talking about "similar things" to how a pen functions in order to to make up the imaginary number required to validate the "many" reference, I can't envisage them being particularly good reasons somehow.”

So, here we have you, Ben, laughing at Leanders suggestion! That is even more telling of your methodology!

Have you ever considered, when it comes to the function of the pen, that:

1.It may have been long and easy to hold – or very short, and hard to get a grip on.
2.It´s tip may have been loosely attached
3.It may have been made of harder or softer material
4.the outflow of the ink may have been restrained in a fashion that forced the writer to angle the pen to get it to flow properly, etcetera - all things attached to the functioning of the pen.

Once again, I am not the expert, but these are things that I think could represent what Leander spoke of. I am sure he would have more to say, since he - not you, not I - has studied the topic for decades, and probably knows more about what impact the pen itself can have on the written text than 999,999 promille of the rest of the worlds population. Considering it is the tool with which one works when writing, I feel certain that a lot more can be said than what fools like you and me would know.

Have you noticed, Ben, that when you choose who gets to understand Iremonger and who does not, and who knows about the mechanisms involved in writing and who does not, it appears that those who bolster your idea of Hutchinson not being Toppy are the ones who – miraculously – understand Iremonger, whereas those who say that you are wrong are the ones who are “fools”? Did you ever reflect on that?
Also, in a comparison between you and Leander concerning who knows what will have an impact on the written text and what will not, I think Leander would get everybodys vote as being the better choice – if it had not been for one small thing; he speaks clearly for Toppy being Hutch. And that is where he looses the race to, ehrm, well, you know ... to you, Ben.

Now Ben, you tell me, am I being "irritating" now – or am I bringing up a point where you must be challenged?

Am I “fanning the fire”, or am I pointing out that you show a very remarkable bias here?

Am I "repeating myself" - or am I showing you why you need to other things than contribute to these boards until you get your act together in a way that allows for unbiased posting and respect for authorities?

Please observe that I do not – the way you do – call you “dim” or go to any sort of rudely worded personal attack. My purpose is only to quite courteously point out that you are going about things in a fashion that enables me to very clearly point out that there is a lacking logic about here. Therefore, I expect a likewise courteously worded answer that – hopefully – explains to me why you are conducting your debate like this, and why you allow yourself what is a very seriously flawed logic.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-24-2009, 11:22 AM
Sam writes:

"I fully agree with your understanding of what Leander said - it's just that I'd rather not get involved in another game of cyber ping-pong about it."

Thanks, Sam. I appreciate very much that you gave your answer, and I fully understand why you choose to refrain from getting involved in any further brawl about it.

The best,
Fisherman

Jon Guy
07-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Hello Fisherman

I am but a simple man and the Meaning of Leander is far too deep for me to be able to answer your question. However, I believe the signatures match, and I applaud your efforts in contacting Leander.

richardnunweek
07-24-2009, 11:55 AM
Hello,
On could discuss this ongoing issue till doomsday, and still not resolve it.
So lets just apply common sense.The signature comparisons to Toppings are to say the least favourable.
Lets call it 60/40 in favour.
If one adds that 4/6 shot, with the fact that a name has been given, that of Topping,[ incidently the only name of Hutchinson to have been released to the media since 1888] by his own family.
The odds shorten more.
If one adds the payment to Hutch issue,, equivilent to five weeks wages, only ever quoted in the 'Wheeling paper', and assuming that [ as many say] it was only 'gossip', then somehow GWTH, not only remembered that from many years prior, but was able to calculate a sum , which would indeed equal that amount, when telling his tale in the local, and whats more must have had a real intrest some forty years before in the case, to not only remember that he had the same name[ ie George hutchinson] as the witness, but also could remember the statement given.
Some might say that Topping never actually said all of that, infact it was Reg jumping on the 'Wagon'.
That is not a factor... I know from personal research that Reg knew absolutely nothing about the whitechapel murders, infact a younger member of the family lent him a book so he could educate himself on the subject.
I have tried to express common sense in this post, and taking everything in to calculation[ which is my proffession] I would confidently say that it is at least 90 per-cent certain that Topping ' is /was Hutchinson.
Regards Richard.

Ben
07-24-2009, 04:24 PM
You have presented an untenable, undecent and intellectually corrupt argument on the issue of whether "five or more" could equate to "many", and so you are going to have to be faced with it

That was all discussed months ago, Fisherman, but you decided for some strange reason to dredge the issue up again by copying and pasting a post you made from yonks ago. It does rather give the game away that you enjoy these long-winded semantic debates. You stated your intention to start this thread to gauge as many reactions to the issue as possible from other posters, but it seems you are far more interested in going round in circles with me.

He listed, as you perfectly well know, three NAMED possibilities, and added that there may be similar things (plural) that could have played a role to.

But the three explanations that he NAMED as possibilities were not "similar" to eachother, so it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever to use the expression "similar" in the context of the possibilities explanations cited. The phrase "similar things" would only make sense if he meant "similar" to the last mentioned explanation, which was "function of the pen", and let's be honest here, there cannot possibly be "many" "similar" explanations to pen function, which was an odd thing to mention anyway.

When, Ben, you say that he "never expressed the opinion that any one of those explanations actually did come into play in this case" you are making a worthless point.

It's pretty valid, actually, and an important distinction to make. You stated earlier that the author's relative youth at the time did account for the differences, whereas in actual fact, Leander only stated that such an explanation could apply in this case.

So, since I am not a document expert, although I have read up on the subject and discussed it with my countries best known and reputed expert, I remain a fool

So Leander's the "best-known" and most "reputed" document examiner in the whole of Sweden. When did this revelation come to the fore, and how can you possibly know this? Are you sure you're not exaggerting the case, slightly? What exactly are you finding hard to "reconcilliate" here. I wasn't arguing that Fido's assessment of Iremonger's character and abilities counts for more than yours of Leander's. I'm saying that we should be able to trust his recollections of what exactly was compared.

Have you ever considered, when it comes to the function of the pen (Fisherman gives a list of non-applicable examples

Yes, Fisherman, but none of those listed explanations have anything remotely to do with the "function" of the pen. There is only one function of the pen that could possibly apply here, and that is to write. Either way, there couldn't possibly be "many" explanations that are "similar" to the "function of the pen" and certainly not an "infinite" number that you were suggesting earlier. This may explain why he didn't use "many" when writing his initial circumspect post.

has studied the topic for decades, and probably knows more about what impact the pen itself can have on the written text than 999,999 promille of the rest of the worlds population.

Except Sue Iremonger, of course, who analysed the original documents - including all three statement signatures - and came to the conclusion that they didn't match. Any chance you can avoid exaggerated over-the-top terminology again? As with your "miscoscopical" references, it's a bit too bumptious and irksome.

Have you noticed, Ben, that when you choose who gets to understand Iremonger and who does not, and who knows about the mechanisms involved in writing and who does not, it appears that those who bolster your idea of Hutchinson not being Toppy are the ones who – miraculously – understand Iremonger, whereas those who say that you are wrong are the ones who are “fools”?

I never suggested that you "didn't understand Iremonger", since there's nothing really to misunderstand. I've certainly never claimed that my understanding of Iremonger is superior to your own. I have stated that you wouldn't be in the idea position to assess her findings since you lack the expertise to pass critical comment, but that holds equally true for me. The only exception to thise is if she missapropriated dictionary definitions without telling anyone. In that situation, we'd be more than entitled to question it, rather than claim that words are allowed to change in "Iremonger's World".

I think Leander would get everybodys vote as being the better choice – if it had not been for one small thing; he speaks clearly for Toppy being Hutch

Not in his initial neutral stance he didn't, and not according to his official SKL grading system he didn't.

Now Ben, you tell me, am I being "irritating" now – or am I bringing up a point where you must be challenged?

You're being irritating.

You already challenged that point several months ago, which was fair enough. I found your stance confusing then, but it was a disagreement and nothing more. The "irritation" value lies in your astonishingly bad decision to puke it all up again entirely unprompted. So you can only be "fanning the fire". Anybody who tries their damnest to dredge up earlier semantic "battles" must, of necessity, be the sort of person who likes looking for a fight. He'll probably deny it, and I wouldn't blame him, but Gareth even dropped you a bombshell hint that your latest efforts are far from conducive for avoiding another round of cyber ping-pong. It reminds me of Leander's equally obvious hint that he didn't want to discuss the issue any further.

Please observe that I do not – the way you do – call you “dim” or go to any sort of rudely worded personal attack.

Nah, you just called me a "fool", which was the picture of courtesy. I don't particularly rate you as anything resembling a barometer of "logic". You're spoiling for a fight that has already been done to death, and I'm generally better at repetition wars than you, despite their being your preference for some odd reason.

Ben
07-24-2009, 04:40 PM
So lets just apply common sense.The signature comparisons to Toppings are to say the least favourable. Lets call it 60/40 in favour

Let's not, Richard, because what you're describing as "common sense" isn't anything of the sort.

The signature comparisons "cannot be ruled out", and that is the very best we can say about it, and I'm sure the only expert who has ever conducted a full analysis on the signatures would be the first to agree. The fact that Toppy's son told a royal conspiracy theorist in 1992 that his dad saw Lord Randolph Churchill the ripper detracts from the Toppy-as-witness odds.

If one adds the payment to Hutch issue,, equivilent to five weeks wages

Please not this again. Hutchinson wasn't taking home a weekly wage, which means he would not have been entitled to five times that non-existent wage. That's not remotely compatible with a 100 shillings figure. I've explained this an absurd amount of times now. Yes, I share your doubts that Hutchinson was unemployed at the time, but the only thing we need to be aware of his that the police really believed he was unemployed, albeit initially, and it would have been the police who dished out any cash on offer.

100 shillings could not have been anything like "equivalent" to five times a non-existent weekly salary.

I don't intend any offense here, but I've explained all this to you a ludicrous amount of times now, and there still isn't a "coincidence" involving Reg's tall tales and and some demonstrably false American article headed "Gossip". I've you've tried to incorporate as much common sense into your post, then it's essential that you ditch the payment issue. It's completely meaningless, and if that's contributing to your 90% certainty, that's a siginicant concern.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-24-2009, 04:46 PM
However, I believe the signatures match, and I applaud your efforts in contacting Leander.

I applaud those same efforts, Jon.

I just think it was a shame to have sent emailed signatures tht conveyed the wrong impression that the signauteres were the same size and angle. I think it was a mistake to include only one signature when there was an opportunity to provide all three, and I deeply regret the perceived necessity to keep contacting him after his first letter. We've since learned that document examiners generally stick to their own langauage when taking on handwriting comparisons too.

You are of course entitled to your own opinions on the signatures. I just wonder if you'd still feel that way if presnted with the originals, or at the very least, decent copies in the context of the whole page.

Best regards,
Ben

Sam Flynn
07-24-2009, 04:55 PM
The fact that Toppy's son told a royal conspiracy theorist in 1992 that his dad saw Lord Randolph Churchill the ripper detracts from the Toppy-as-witness odds.It emphatically does not, Ben. What his son may or may not have said about Randolph Churchill ninety years after the event does not alter the odds of Topping having been the witness one iota.

Ben
07-24-2009, 05:05 PM
Well, it certainly doesn't help, Gareth.

Victor
07-24-2009, 05:17 PM
But the three explanations that he NAMED as possibilities were not "similar" to eachother, so it wouldn't make any sense whatsoever to use the expression "similar" in the context of the possibilities explanations cited. The phrase "similar things" would only make sense if he meant "similar" to the last mentioned explanation, which was "function of the pen", and let's be honest here, there cannot possibly be "many" "similar" explanations to pen function, which was an odd thing to mention anyway.
Hi Ben,
I think that's taking semantic pedantry to the limit. "Similar things" would include similar to any of those previously mentioned.

There is only one function of the pen that could possibly apply here, and that is to write. Either way, there couldn't possibly be "many" explanations that are "similar" to the "function of the pen" and certainly not an "infinite" number that you were suggesting earlier. This may explain why he didn't use "many" when writing his initial circumspect post.
"Function of the pen" is pretty similar to "way the pen functions" especially when translated from Swedish, and that would include the way the ink is stored, how much is stored and how often it needs to be dipped in the inkwell, how it flows to the nib, the way it is held particularly the angle, the type of pen. There's several suggestions, well on the way to "many" and I'm sure a professional dfocument examiner would come up with lots of additional ones.

Except Sue Iremonger, of course, who analysed the original documents - including all three statement signatures - and came to the conclusion that they didn't match.
Didn't she conclude that the 3 signatures on the statement didn't match eachother too.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
07-24-2009, 05:27 PM
I think that's taking semantic pedantry to the limit. "Similar things" would include similar to any of those previously mentioned.

But the "previously mentioned" explanations were not similar to eachother, Victor, so it wouldn't make much sense to state that there may be other unnamed "similar" explanations without specifying what they're supposed to be similar to. Unless of course, he meant "similar" to the last mentioned, which was the "function of the pen", in which case the sentence would start to make sense. Unfortunately, there's no way you can conjur up the existence of "many" explanations for the differences that belong in the already very limited sub-category of "function of the pen".

The storage capacity of a pen is very unlikely to have any impact upon the style of the signature, and "the way it is held, particularly the angle" is a obvious difference in the writer's penmanship, not an explanation for one.

Didn't she conclude that the 3 signatures on the statement didn't match eachother too.

She said the first one was different. She believed sigs 2 and 3 were written by the same hand.

Victor
07-24-2009, 05:38 PM
But the "previously mentioned" explanations were not similar to eachother, Victor, so it wouldn't make much sense to state that there may be other unnamed "similar" explanations without specifying what they're supposed to be similar to. Unless of course, he meant "similar" to the function of the pen, in which case the sentence would start to make sense. Unfortunately, there's no way you can conjur up the existence of "many" explanations for the differences that belong in the already very limited sub-category of "function of the pen".
It's irrelevent how similar the previously mentioned explanations are to eachotehr, the "many others" are similar to any of those. And that makes your last sentence redundant.

She said the first one was different. She believed sigs 2 and 3 were written by the same hand.
Thank you for that.

Ben
07-24-2009, 05:41 PM
It really doesn't make sense to claim that A is "similar to" B, C, and D when it's obvious that B, C and D don't have any similarity with eachother.

Victor
07-24-2009, 05:46 PM
It really doesn't make sense to claim that A is "similar to" B, C, and D when it's obvious that B, C and D don't have any similarity with eachother.

Reasons for X are A, B, C or D and similar.

To me that means the reasons for X could be A and\or something similar to A and\or B and\or something similar to B and\or C and\or something similar to C and\or D and\or something similar to D.

A, B, C and D do not have to be similar to eachother.

Jon Guy
07-24-2009, 05:51 PM
Hi Ben

I do believe it was a shame that an agreed sample of signatures were not sent. Although I absolutely don`t think there was anything sinister in the choice.

With Mr Leander, we had a document examiner who was kind enough to have a look at the signatures, and charge no fee, and it is a shame that this super bit of networking by Fisherman was tarnished because one camp would not be happy with the samples offered.

As Fisherman is still in contact with Mr Leander perhaps it is not too late for an agreed set of sample signatures to be formulated and presented again?
Out of politeness and respect for Mr Leander, Fisherman should maintain the contact, otherwise we`d be viewed as squabbling kids. As Mr Leander is Swedish, it is only appropriate we approach him in his native language.

Through my own experiences of signatures, and digging around Victorian Census material, the images presented by Sam had very strong similarities.
Of course, as you note, I must always leave room in my judgement for the originals.

Ben
07-24-2009, 05:52 PM
That's even worse, Victor.

In that scenario, he would effectively have been expecting us to guess which of the three named explanations are similar to the supposedly "many" unnamed ones. If A,B,C, and D are not similar to eachother, it's very important to specify which one(s) of the four share a similarity with the great unnamed.

Ben
07-24-2009, 05:59 PM
Hi Jon,

There may not have been any deliberately nefarious or dishonest intentions behind the nature of the material supplied to Leander, but I hardly think any "camp" can be blamed for being unhappy with the material supplied. It wasn't even the case that it may have been deficient - it most assuredly was, and particularly frustrating in this case since an opportunity to provide him with a fuller picture was there from the outset.

The "tarnishing" occured as a result of the material supplied, not because people correctly highlighted the "tarnished" nature of the material. It's also the case that montages convey the erroneous impression that all signatures are of the same size and angle, not that I'm suggesting this was done to confuse on purpose.

Best regards,
Ben

Victor
07-24-2009, 06:20 PM
In that scenario, he would effectively have been expecting us to guess which of the three named explanations are similar to the supposedly "many" unnamed ones. If A,B,C, and D are not similar to eachother, it's very important to specify which one(s) of the four share a similarity with the great unnamed.

Why? The many unnamed are similar to any of those mentioned and all he was doing was suggesting possible reasons for the discrepancies, unless you expect him to itemise each and every one which is unnecessarily restrictive possibly to the point of making the task impossible.

Let's see...we have...
Age and infirmity of the writer considering they were done decades apart, which could affect how he holds the pen. Maybe arthritis too.
Any injuries to his hands in those intervening years, especially relevent for a manual worker\labourer.

Oh and let's include remote possibilities like he loses his hand\fingers in an accident.
Mental infirmities which affect his memory of how he signs his name.

How alert or tired he is.

His emotional state, especially as one is a marriage certificate when he could be "overcome with emotion"

And these are factors concerning the writer, then we have those concerning the pens used, then those concerning the environment, such as the marriage certificate being signed whilst standing and his bride seated.

Of course, most of these are not relevent to this situation as far as we know.

Jon Guy
07-24-2009, 06:24 PM
Apologies, Ben. I didn`t mean to imply that the result was tarnished because "your camp" were not happy with the samples provided. As you say, the result was tarnished because of the samples sent. Which is why a set of samples, as best as we can do, should be formulated and presented again, with full agreement from the enemy this time;)

Ben
07-24-2009, 06:44 PM
The many unnamed are similar to any of those mentioned and all he was doing was suggesting possible reasons for the discrepancies

That would amount to decidedly odd phraseology, when it could simply have said "other things". It makes very little sense to use the word "similar" where there exists ambiguity as to what X or Y is supposedly similar to, especially when the other things being compared share virtually no similarity with eachother. Injury to the hands doesn't have any similarity to any of the three cited explanations, and since the great unnamed is supposed to encompass only the explanations "similar" to those three, it's clear that Leander cannot have considered this a realistic means of accounting for the differences.

The trouble with the "decades apart" argument is that we have evidence of Toppy's handwriting from 1898 and 1911, and the differences with the statement three remained different (i.e. the very same differences!) over that time span, with the closed G-loop and skyward-pointing n-tail being present on both occasions. The idea that he was emotionally overcome when writing his marriage certificate signature is similarly weaked by the fact that the signature was practically identical to his 1911 census entry, as is the "bride seated, groom standing" hypothesis.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-24-2009, 06:45 PM
No worries, Jon.

No offence taken. :)

Victor
07-24-2009, 07:52 PM
That would amount to decidedly odd phraseology, when it could simply have said "other things". It makes very little sense to use the word "similar" where there exists ambiguity as to what X or Y is supposedly similar to, especially when the other things being compared share virtually no similarity with eachother.
That depends upon a number of factors including typical Swedish phraseology, and Fish's translation skills, etc. And I think it's more appropriate to include the similar than exclude it, and that your perceived ambiguity is utterly inconsequential.

Injury to the hands doesn't have any similarity to any of the three cited explanations, and since the great unnamed is supposed to encompass only the explanations "similar" to those three, it's clear that Leander cannot have considered this a realistic means of accounting for the differences.
Injury to hands shares no similarity to hands becoming infirm due to arthritis? Again I completely disagree.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
07-24-2009, 08:25 PM
And I think it's more appropriate to include the similar than exclude it, and that your perceived ambiguity is utterly inconsequential.

I don't.

I don't see any major problems with Fisherman's intepretation skills, and nor do I think there's any "ambiguity" concerning the "similar" reference, but that's only if we accept that the "similar things" was in reference to the last mentioned explanation for the differences, which concerned the "function of the pen" and that those same "similar things" could not have been "many". Better than assuming that he mean "similar" to things that weren't even similar with eachother.

Injury to hands shares no similarity to hands becoming infirm due to arthritis?

No. I'm saying that injury to hands has obviously no "similarity" to any of the three named explanations for the Toppy/witness differences.

Sam Flynn
07-24-2009, 09:09 PM
If A,B,C, and D are not similar to eachother....
But they are, Ben! Consider these facts about the three sigs on the 1888 witness statement:

1. We know that one of the terminating "n"s is chopped off in the scan of the 1888 witness statement;

2. We know that the second page is signed "Geo" instead of "George";

3. We know that two of the capital "H"s are similar, but that on the first page is curlicued...

Therefore, in the interests of getting a level playing field, let's

a. Chop off all the terminating "n"s;

b. Turn the two "Georges" into "Geos";

c. Put the fancy "H" on all three pages.

Bearing in mind that all I've done is a-c above, with no other changes at all, this is what 1888p1-3 end up looking like:

6207

It's rather clear to me that the same bloke wrote all three.

Victor
07-24-2009, 11:18 PM
I don't see any major problems with Fisherman's intepretation skills, and nor do I think there's any "ambiguity" concerning the "similar" reference, but that's only if we accept that the "similar things" was in reference to the last mentioned explanation for the differences, which concerned the "function of the pen" and that those same "similar things" could not have been "many". Better than assuming that he mean "similar" to things that weren't even similar with eachother.
But I can see no good reason for accepting that the similar things was restricted only to the last reference, nor can I see why he wasn't refering to "many" things each one similar to a particular but unspecified one of his 3 listed reasons (whatever their dissimilarity to eachother)

No. I'm saying that injury to hands has obviously no "similarity" to any of the three named explanations for the Toppy/witness differences.
Other than that it may affect handwriting.

Victor
07-24-2009, 11:21 PM
6207

It's rather clear to me that the same bloke wrote all three.

Me too, especially the strange "w" like appearance of the "u", and the "tch" construction.

Sam Flynn
07-24-2009, 11:33 PM
Me too, especially the strange "w" like appearance of the "u", and the "tch" construction.
Actually, Vic, the leftmost "arm" of the "w" is actually the upstroke from the curly "H". The "u"s themselves are deeply cup-shaped, as is clear when you see them in isolation, as below:

6208

perrymason
07-25-2009, 01:13 AM
But they are, Ben! Consider these facts about the three sigs on the 1888 witness statement:

1. We know that one of the terminating "n"s is chopped off in the scan of the 1888 witness statement;

2. We know that the second page is signed "Geo" instead of "George";

3. We know that two of the capital "H"s are similar, but that on the first page is curlicued...

Therefore, in the interests of getting a level playing field, let's

a. Chop off all the terminating "n"s;

b. Turn the two "Georges" into "Geos";

c. Put the fancy "H" on all three pages.

Bearing in mind that all I've done is a-c above, with no other changes at all, this is what 1888p1-3 end up looking like:

6207

It's rather clear to me that the same bloke wrote all three.

Thats a great comparative Sam, and I would think Ben or whomever would agree with your conclusion.

All the best

richardnunweek
07-25-2009, 10:46 AM
Ben,
I cannot agree with you on the payment issue, and I find your reluctance to accept certain points incredible.
Lets for one accept that the Wheeling is pure gossip... I will go along with that, and the suggestion of a payment was local talk which found its way, along with Barnett being drunk at the inquest, to the editor.
I will accept that.
That being the case Topping must have been aware of that local gossip, or read that particular article to have been able to incooperate it into his tale, some forty years later, and not only that, mention a sum of money which would infact equal the amount published.
Tha above has nothing to do with that irritating comment , mentioned several times' five weeks wages =nothing.
I am not refering to any amount Hutchinson may , or may not, have been capable of earning, just a figure estimated by the 'gossip' paper., which as a average would be One pound x five= Five pounds, the amount Topping recalled.
I am sorry my stance on this irritates you so, but in order for Regs father to have been able to recall the statement given , and also realise that he had the same name as that witness, would have been rather remarkable, one wonders for instance, where would have he got that infomation from , I dont recall the A-Z being out then.
Just because something is headlined 'Gossip' , does not mean it is sheer bunkum, and to be honest i do not consider my thoughts on this unworthy.
Regards Richard.

The Good Michael
07-25-2009, 11:01 AM
Richard,

The payment to Hutch is one of the most logical arguments on these threads, regardless if Toppy and Hutch are one and the same. A guy coming forward to claim that he knows something, but he wants to make a buck off it, is absolute reality. In fact, a young man living in a boarding house, in the toughest neighborhood in London (maybe) would probably not come forward out of the goodness of his heart. Why should he? Why would he really care about how he earns a dollar?

Cheers,

Mike

Fisherman
07-25-2009, 01:22 PM
Ben writes:

“That was all discussed months ago, Fisherman, but you decided for some strange reason to dredge the issue up again by copying and pasting a post you made from yonks ago. It does rather give the game away that you enjoy these long-winded semantic debates.”

The fact that this discussion is still an ongoing one, and the fact that it to a large extent is due to my still “dredging it up”, has an explanation.
It has been suggested more than once that the best thing to do is to agree to disagree, and that is more often than not a wise suggestion. I do so on a regular basis; I have agreed to disagree with Don on the subject of whether Tabram was Jack´s victim or not, I have agreed to disagree with Sam on the subject of whether Bond was right in suggesting that Kellys face was covered as it was cut or not, I have agreed to disagree with CD on the subject of whether Stride was a domestic affair or not, and so on.
What tells these affairs apart from my dealings with Ben, is that neither of these posters (and many, many others with whom I have agreed to disagree) have even come close to implying that I manipulate, feed bogus material, put words in expert´s mouths and so on. None of them would – as far as I can tell – resort to suggesting that any expert with whom I had spoken, would have chosen to “fob me off” instead of remaining steadfast at the stance his or her expert knowledge had led to. If my conviction is a sound one, they would refer from such a thing at any given moment out of sheer decency – the shame involved in such a thing would make such a step completely impossible for them to take. The thought would not even occur to them in the first place.

So, with them, it is easy to disagree, because the two stances involved in any such disagreement would not involve any hideous accusations or deeply tragic allegations of foul play on behalf of any authority or expert used in the discussion on either side. The result of a disagreement would always involve the recognition of the other party´s wiew as a viable and logically legitimate one.
This does not apply in the disagreement between Ben and me – a good deal of what Ben has stated is as unviable as it is logically illegitimate the way I see it. And as long as that stands, I will have no problems to disagree – but it will involve no agreement in any shape or form with Ben.
Any suggestions how the situation can be improved in order for the boards to be able to function without letting this disagreement colour the climate too much are thankfully accepted!


Mike/Perry Mason writes:

"Thats a great comparative Sam"

Fully agreed - a brilliant piece of work, and thoroughly enlightening. And one can´t help but to wonder why Iremonger would have concluded that the three signatures were not by the same man...? Of course, one must bear in mind that if she handled the original police protocol - and the reasonable suggestion is that she did - one cannot exclude the possibility that something was hidden in the third dimension that made her rule the way she did. I would have given a lot to see what reasons she worded!

To all the others who have offered interesting and sound material on this thread so far: thank you!

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-25-2009, 08:15 PM
Jon Guy writes:

"I am but a simple man and the Meaning of Leander is far too deep for me to be able to answer your question. However, I believe the signatures match, and I applaud your efforts in contacting Leander."

Sorry, but I missed this post of your yesterday, Jon! Can I just say that I am very thankful for the applauds, and very much opposed to the suggestion that you would be a simple man, Jon - at least you are not so in any derogatory meaning of the word!

All the best, as always!
Fisherman

Casebook Wiki Editor
07-25-2009, 11:51 PM
It's rather clear to me that the same bloke wrote all three.

Nice piece of analysis, Sam. It's the handwriting of the same fellow as far as I can tell.

Ben
07-26-2009, 02:48 AM
Hi Gareth,

I think we may be speaking at cross purposes here. I don't disagree with your observation that "the same bloke wrote all three", and share the opinion expressed by a few here that you have illustrated that point well and to the best of your abilities. My allusion to "A, B, C and D" was in reference to the three suggested explanations for the differences as cited by Frank Leander. Off the top of my head, one explanation was the "function of the pen" and another was his age at the time of writing. Those suggested explanations are not similar to eachother, and yet Leander saw fit to include: "and similar things" after listing the differences. It is my opinion that he could only have meant "similar to" the last mentioned explanation - function of the pen - in order for the sentence to make sense. Unfortunately, there cannot be "many" potential explanations that could be described as "similar to" the "function of the pen" suggestion, since there aren't all that many functions of a pen as far as writing with it is concerned.

Honestly, I really hadn't banked on having to repeat all this again, but some people - not you - seem intent on regurgitating old "battles" from months ago.

I rather wish they wouldn't, and I have a sneaking suspicion that you're with me on that!.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-26-2009, 03:31 AM
The fact that this discussion is still an ongoing one, and the fact that it to a large extent is due to my still “dredging it up”, has an explanation

Well, if you consider it an ongoing one, just be frank and say you’re prepared to battle it out to perdition’s flames, and don't obfuscate your intention to ensure that the discussion is as “ongoing” as possible. Don’t keep saying time and time and again that you’re happy to depart the discussion once you’ve acquired X or Y response or closure from Leander. It’s pointless. You know full well that I never initiate these discussions, and you know full well that I’m not the one dredging previous debates up from yester-month with a view to continuing them in the middle of nowhere. You know where I stand on the issue, so it doesn’t make any sense for you to keep encouraging me to reiterate a stance that you insist must be fallacious, unless you were generally interested in prolonging a one-up-manship battle against me. Try to understand how badly the following excuse reads, for example:

“What tells these affairs apart from my dealings with Ben, is that neither of these posters (and many, many others with whom I have agreed to disagree) have even come close to implying that I manipulate”

So, in consequence, you decide to spend as little mental energy as possible on those with chose to disagree with you respectfully, but when it comes to those who, you insist, are making outlandish claims against you, you give them every ounce of your attention, rather than dismissing them with the contempt that any logical person would claim they ought to richly deserve if your claims were true?

If you really thought I belonged in the latter category, you’d make good your oft-repeated intention to deal with me as little as possible. I’m Ben the bastard with a nefarious agenda who will never change his mind about anything, remember, so why pay me so much more attention than Don or CD or all those other people who disagree with you amicably? Unless of course, you were anxious that some would find me incredibly persuasive, and felt you had to mitigate any dire consequences that may result from this by alerting the unwary. In which case, you’re basically claiming that that nobody is able to make his or her own mind up. I’m sure there may be a few here who are ill-equipped to perceive that some otherwise reputable experts are perfectly capable of unwittingly upgrading their stance when they – the experts - sense a bias on the part of the contact, and that a non-kosher response is likely to elicit more communication, but those who subscribe to that view have already identified themselves by now.

That really isn’t such a nefarious accusation against either of the Swedes in this occasion, since no deliberate trickery was ever implied here, certainly not by me.

Me, I’m not going to blitz-post them or otherwise demand that they think otherwise, unless or course anyone fancies the “let’s see if my repetition is going to be more repetitive than your repetition” brand of argumentation.

“Any suggestions how the situation can be improved in order for the boards to be able to function without letting this disagreement colour the climate too much are thankfully accepted!”

You know the answer to that one, Fisherman.

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-26-2009, 03:57 AM
“That being the case Topping must have been aware of that local gossip, or read that particular article to have been able to incooperate it into his tale”

No he didn’t, Richard.

All he had to do was come up with a patently bogus tale that tallied very nicely with the Royal Conspiracy theory that he knew full well that Fairclough was touting, and that there was a promise of a payment if all went well, and what could be more obvious that a tall tale involving a pay-off? Why didn’t the whole Churchill the Ripper exposure come to the fore at the time of the murders? Oh, because my dad Toppy saw Churchill with Kelly and was paid a ludicrous sum of hush money to conceal this whopping great conspiratorial secret, that’s why. That's practically textbook. You’re not seriously suggesting that Reg needed an obscure and incongruous American press account to come up with such an idea, are you? Because I can assure you he didn’t.

"...a sum of money which would infact equal the amount published”

But it doesn’t equal any such amount (certainly not "in fact"), and it’s deeply unfortunate that you haven’t been listening to the explanation I carefully provided where I demonstrated conclusively that the “amount(s)” provided couldn’t possibly have “equalled” each other. Please listen very carefully this time: The "Gossip"-headed article from Nowheresville Virginia (which contained false details about Barnett’s habit and character) spoke of a sum that purportedly corresponded to five times Hutchinson’s weekly salary. However, according to the police (who would have been directly responsible for any pay-offs), that sum would have been zero, since they were under the impression - correct or otherwise - that Hutchinson was without regular employment. Five times zero = zero, and that’s five pounds less that the five pounds specified by Reg as hush money for the Toppy saw Churchill hypothesis.

Your assertion that Reg must have obtained the “information” from somewhere is symptomatic of your already mistaken impression that he couldn’t possibly have made it up, but when people make things up (which happens all the time), they often get their information from their imagination, at least as a the main contributory source.

“A guy coming forward to claim that he knows something, but he wants to make a buck off it, is absolute reality”

Of course it can be, Mike, just as long as the buck-seeker isn’t deluded into believing that he’ll obtain that buck simply by claiming he saw something, with not independent corroboration whatsoever,

Jane Welland
07-26-2009, 10:12 AM
I just have one question here:

If Hutchinson regularly earned 20 shillings a week, why did he need to live in a doss-house?

I know of course, (because he said so) that he was unemployed at time, but we don't know for how long, of course, and he used to be a groom, (becuase he said so)

Would he have earned such a sum as a groom? Does anyone know?

I'd like to know.

That was two questions, sorry. :shakehead:

I rather think that £5 paid to Hutchinson for his services is a bit unlikely - sorry Richard. I fail to see what for - not for accompanying the police, surely? I shouldn't have thought so: word would have got about pretty fast that the police were pying witnessess and they'd have been inundated!

Unless you think that he really did see Lord Randolph Churchill - in which case I wouldn't have thought £5 would have covered it, frankly - it's a good sum, but hardly 'ludicrous' in terms of wealth. Just over a month's salary - put it in those terms - yes, quite nice, jolly useful, but hardly life-changing.

The other point of course is that had Hutchinson actually seen Churchill and divulged that very fact, he'd soon have been silenced - you know, like 'From Hell' but with witnesses? :lol:

Actually, since nobody has yet found any trace of the man in the Census (unless he actually was Toppy of course) maybe that is what happened to him!

Imagine - ''Scuse me mate...'
'What?'

'You're 'Utchinson, ain't yer? - George 'Utchinson...'

'What if I am?'

'Well, Georgie Boy, we got a little present for yer...'

Sigh... I'll never make it as a script writer...

Jollity aside, there are some valid questions here, it seems to me.

Best to all

Jane x

Fisherman
07-26-2009, 11:22 AM
Ben suggests:

"My allusion to "A, B, C and D" was in reference to the three suggested explanations for the differences as cited by Frank Leander. Off the top of my head, one explanation was the "function of the pen" and another was his age at the time of writing. Those suggested explanations are not similar to eachother, and yet Leander saw fit to include: "and similar things" after listing the differences. It is my opinion that he could only have meant "similar to" the last mentioned explanation - function of the pen - in order for the sentence to make sense. Unfortunately, there cannot be "many" potential explanations that could be described as "similar to" the "function of the pen" suggestion, since there aren't all that many functions of a pen as far as writing with it is concerned."

Let´s be honest here, and recognize that this goes beyond what is usually called daft. Victor has already pointed out to you that this is just semantic quibbling, and I don´t mind doing so myself.
The suggestion is dishonest, stupid, illogical, ridiculous AND SIMILAR THINGS.
And that does not mean that I am excluding ANYTHING similar to either dishonest, stupid and illogical!

What would you have him say? That the dissimilarities could have been caused by cause A and similar things, cause B and similar things, cause C and similar things, and things similar to things that A, B and C are similar to?

For the love of God, Ben, what Leander is speaking about are things that may have had an impact on the writing - any EXTERNAL influence that could have caused a change in the handstyle counts as "similar things"! Your "interpretation" - and let´s keep in mind that we have already had a disappointed Leander telling us that malicious interpretations on your behalf is a very sad thing - does not count. It does not belong to any rational methodology this side of planet Jupiter.

Geez, man, give it a rest. Show some self-respect! Or do I have to create a new thread everytime you "interpret" things? What should we name it this time: "Running, hiding, putting your hands over your ears - and similar things?"

Fisherman
fed up

richardnunweek
07-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Ben,
You are not on the same wavelength here.
I am refering to Topping not Reg,when speaking of mentioning a man of well doing, and the payment issue, this would have happened some sixty years before Fairclough
You are not using it in the right context,it was my suggestion that it would be unlikely that a man that happened to have the same name as a witness during the murders, would also take over an identity, complete with full knowledge of his statement, and also remember the local gossip at the time, and reference it to that very man.
The latter[ gossip] being the payment issue.
You are stating[ without proof] that Reg fabricated the whole story, implying that his late father NEVER told him it when he was a lad.
However in reality the form book takes issue with that, Regs wife believed him , so did his immediate family[ according to JD].
I am not ignorant so there is no need to ABC, the payment.
Fact is Ben.. Hutchinson had to have a regular income as he would never have passed the vetting required to be a permanent resident of the Victoria home, infact if i remember correctly, i believe the police had a hand in the vetting.
The wheeling report stated 'Five weeks wages'... [the average man approx one pound per week] would would indeed fit the five pound pattern.
I wish we had a audio of that bloody radio programme. for Regs tale was included[ you have my word] and that was twenty years before Fairclough, so i quess it was not invented for the book.
And so it goes on.
Regards Richard.

Sam Flynn
07-26-2009, 01:04 PM
What was said apropos rewards in the Wheeling Register applies to "George Hutchinson", whoever he was. What was written in that newspaper can have no bearing on the "Toppy/Hutch" problem-space, anymore than the Churchill story in Melvyn Fairclough's book. Both belong to a different argument entirely, namely: "can we trust what we read in the papers/books?".

richardnunweek
07-26-2009, 01:10 PM
Hello Sam,
I agree entirely with that, I just had to make that point to Ben.
Regards Richard.

Sam Flynn
07-26-2009, 01:18 PM
Thanks, Rich - I might add "radio programmes" to my list, too ;)

Fisherman
07-26-2009, 02:24 PM
Okay, Ben, here we have your logic applied to a few examples on the net. Five minutes of googling brought them up (I halted after page three, but there were innumerable (many) examples left):

About a Swedish museum in Gothenburg:
“The museum is opened by daytime during the summer and you are also able to rent it for conferences, weddings and similar things.”

According to Ben, that means the museum is open for conferences, weddings and things similar to weddings only. Not, though, for class get-togethers, funerals and graduation parties, since these are of course dissimilar to weddings.

A factory sells:
“galvanized iron used for roofing and similar things”

According to Ben, that iron is only meant for things similar to roofing. They won´t sell it otherwise.

An academic paper concerning:
“Punjabi Behaviour : Society, Family Values and similar things”

According to Ben, we can forget about things similar to society matters – only a similarity to family values count!

”Problem with Web Services, Pending Call and similar things”

…is something where this website offers help. But if it does not touch on web services, pending calls or things similar to pending calls only, it´s useless to contact them, according to Ben.

“This is the place to get support for problems related to usage, compilation and similar things.”

Same problem here, I´m afraid; if it is not usage problems, compilation or similar to compilation, you´re sold out.

An enthusiastic computer game player:
“I can't afford this one at moment but have enjoyed playing with the demo. It's awesome for creating lens flares, suns, light bursts and similar things, such as SFX of space engines, weapons fire etc.”

NOW it´s getting complicated! How on earth can two completely dissimilar things like SFX of space engines and weapons fire BOTH be similar to light bursts? Because, like Ben tells us, “similar to” only applies to the last mentioned factor – in this case the light bursts. It would not – once again according to Ben – be a case of similar things pointing to sound and light effects in general. No, sir, there is no way that could be what the writer meant!

About Pakistani schools:
“Schools also place a lot of importance on school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails and similar things.”

And what could they not care less about? The shoes, obviously, since they are wildly dissimilar to the school uniform – they may be tattered and torn. The schoolbags, too, may be dirty and in pieces. The school books too, of course. And you may arrive at every lesson with your bottom dipped in pig urine and with a face strewn with horse manure – since neither of these things are included in “school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails” - or anything similar to clean cut nails. A bottom is distinctly dissimilar to a nail, just like a face is dissimilar to a school uniform.

The best,
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-26-2009, 02:49 PM
you may arrive at every lesson with your bottom dipped in pig urine and with a face strewn with horse manure.
...sounds like my school.

(Off-topic, but true story: There was this chap who'd wash his hair and apply conditioner after each rugby match. This being distinctly un-macho behaviour, not befitting a rugby player, it was decided to teach him a lesson. One of the other lads, whose dad was a farmer, swapped his bottle of hair-conditioner for one of the same brand filled with bull's semen. What larks!)

Victor
07-26-2009, 02:56 PM
(Off-topic, but true story: There was this chap who'd wash his hair and apply conditioner after each rugby match. This being distinctly un-macho behaviour, not befitting a rugby player, it was decided to teach him a lesson. One of the other lads, whose dad was a farmer, swapped his bottle of hair-conditioner for one of the same brand filled with bull's semen. What larks!)

He had it easy...we had a similar situation but we did the switch with Imac!!

Howard Brown
07-26-2009, 03:11 PM
Excuse me Sammy...

I think someone was pulling your leg. Bull semen is around 700 US dollars an ounce. I know that at one time it was more expensive than gold by the ounce. I sort of doubt that the story given you is true unless the person is an idiot.

perrymason
07-26-2009, 06:48 PM
I think you illustrated the point rather well Fisherman.

"Similar" would refer to something that is contextually within the same realm, not just refer to something that is similar to the last item in the list, as it were.

"Our convention hall hold conferences, symposiums and similar events."

That means to me that larger gatherings of people would be common in that Hall, including events like Trade Shows, Product Launches, Musical events, Sporting events, ....

All the best FM

Jon Guy
07-26-2009, 06:56 PM
"Similar" would refer to something that is contextually within the same realm, not just refer to something that is similar to the last item in the list, as it were.


Blinkin heck, Mike, I think that is the most complicated sentence I`ve ever seen.

perrymason
07-26-2009, 07:03 PM
Blinkin heck, Mike, I think that is the most complicated sentence I`ve ever seen.

I doubt that Jon:laugh4: ,...but simply said, as per my example, the quote in context suggests that large events with many people in attendance can be facilitated in that Convention Hall. It does not suggest that events only similar to symposiums can be handled.

Cheers mate

Fisherman
07-26-2009, 08:52 PM
Sam and Vic:

"One of the other lads, whose dad was a farmer, swapped his bottle of hair-conditioner for one of the same brand filled with bull's semen. What larks!"

"He had it easy...we had a similar situation but we did the switch with Imac!!"

Not sure I need to hear a third suggestion on this one... Bulls semen or Imac; thats a tough call!

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-26-2009, 08:57 PM
Michael writes:

"Our convention hall hold conferences, symposiums and similar events."
"That means to me that larger gatherings of people would be common in that Hall, including events like Trade Shows, Product Launches, Musical events, Sporting events, ...."

Yep, Mike, and it means the same to just about everybody. Just about, that is...

Incidentally, I spoke to a language teacher about this, and her wiew was that as long as there was some sort of connection inbetween the listed entities (like, for example, their ability to influence handwriting), then if you mean that similar refers only the last listed thing, you must clarify this by adding for example "....A, B, C and similar things to C"

The best,
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-26-2009, 11:06 PM
Excuse me Sammy...

I think someone was pulling your leg. Bull semen is around 700 US dollars an ounce. I know that at one time it was more expensive than gold by the ounce. I sort of doubt that the story given you is true unless the person is an idiot.
I take your point, but I'm not sure that the megabucks factor would have applied to a tiny, scruffy family farm in 1980s mid-Wales, Howard.

Ben
07-27-2009, 12:54 AM
Fisherman,

The suggestion is dishonest, stupid, illogical, ridiculous AND SIMILAR THINGS.

But those charming epithets that you delight to hurl in my direction have a good deal of obvious similarity with eachother, so it would make sense to include "and similar things" in that amusing volley of abuse. The named explanation provided by Leander had no similarity with eachother, so in thr absence of any specifity as to what these other unamed things are suposed to be similar to, the statement becomes meaningless, unless of course he meant "similar to" the last mentioned explanation which was "function of the pen" and there can't be "many explanations that fit that description.

Since that's so obviously what he meant - and said - I wouldn't "have him say" anything different. It's really rather pointless reminding everyone what an unsavoury character he supposedly thinks I am - a total stranger to him, especially after telling him that I had accused him of lying, and that I was a "so-called ripperologist" (I don't call myself anything of the sort, thankyoi very much). When faced with such a rhetoric-laden post that appealed to emotions, you can't really have banked on him reacting differently.

Geez, man, give it a rest.

No, you give it a rest.

I'm not the one spoiling to start a new round of "cyber ping pong" the moment the old one starts to die off. Maybe you should try easing off once in a while, and maybe I'll consider following suit

Ben
07-27-2009, 01:07 AM
I am refering to Topping not Reg,when speaking of mentioning a man of well doing, and the payment issue, this would have happened some sixty years before Fairclough

But who told us that all this occured without anything even vaguely resembling corroboration, Richard?

Yep. Reg. So you really shouldn't be all that surprised when I refer to him as the origin of this particular tale. It isn't remotely unlikely that a man with the same name of the witness would hear about the account in the papers, and then claim falsely that he was the man featured therein, whether for fame, money or s simply joke. However, I don't think that's what happened here. Instead, I rather suspect that Reg was the originator of the "tale" when he sensed that he could earn himself a few quid by milking the cow that was the latest royal conspiracy. Other family members could susequenly towed the line either out or genuine ignorance, or to avoid a close relative being publicly exposed as a liar.

Fact is Ben.. Hutchinson had to have a regular income as he would never have passed the vetting required to be a permanent resident of the Victoria home, infact if i remember correctly, i believe the police had a hand in the vetting.

But the far more crucial fact is that the POLICE were under the impression that Hutchinson was without regular employment, and it would have been the POLICE who were responsible for any witness pay-offs. The police could not have reimbursed him five times his normal salary when. as far as they were concerned, he didn't even HAVE a normal salary.

Which is why there can be no interesting coincidence involving Reg's claims and the Wheeling Register, since there's no possibility that the figures could have matched eachother even slightly.

All the best,
Ben

Ben
07-27-2009, 01:49 AM
Edit: Other family members could susequenly towed the line

Ouch. I meant "Other family members could have towed the line, subsequently". And I meant "specificity" not "specifity". Long weekend.

There's more!

For someone who purports to treat me with so much contempt, this Fisherman character spends an obsessive amount of mental energy on me, and now he's even threatening to "start a new thread" whenever he thinks or insists I must be misinterpreting something, which, I'm sorry, is just Ahabian zealotry. Now he's been a-googlin again, which is a sure sign of lots of lovely long aggressive posts to come:

“The museum is opened by daytime during the summer and you are also able to rent it for conferences, weddings and similar things.

Which is a perfectly legimate sentence. Conferences and weddings are obviously similar insofar as they refer to mass social gatherings of people, and you're right, lot's of similar events could be envisaged. If, on the other hand, he had said that it can be used for conferences, hippos and deoderant and similar things, then he'd be making a perculiar statement, misapplying "similar" in the process.

According to Ben, that iron is only meant for things similar to roofing.

That's because it is. Any form of construction will, of necessity, be similar to roofing, and construction is what galvanised iron is chiefly used for, so that sentence was also used in its correct context and illustrated my point rather well.

“Punjabi Behaviour : Society, Family Values and similar things”

Same again. The "things" cited all came under the category of social ethics, so the author clearly meant "similar things" that entered into the same category, wholly unlike the three explanations cited by Leander, which were completely different.

…is something where this website offers help. But if it does not touch on web services, pending calls or things similar to pending calls only, it´s useless to contact them, according to Ben.

Yep, pretty much the same deal again. The website clearly offers help with internet related problems. It cites two such problems that share an obvious similarity with eachother, and goes on to state that it can provide help with equally similar prolems. It didn't claim to provide help with connectivity, constipation and similar things.

NOW it´s getting complicated! How on earth can two completely dissimilar things like SFX of space engines and weapons fire BOTH be similar to light bursts?

Sounds like you're not terribly familiar with computer games if you think there's anythong remotly dissimilar about the things mentioned by that particular gamer. What he means is that he cannot create special effects such as weapon blasts and sun flashes (and all the rest of it). Anyone can comprehend the similarity in the items referred to. Of course he meant sound and lighting effects in general, but that isn't remotely analogous to the explanations named by Leander.

“Schools also place a lot of importance on school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails and similar things.

Cleanliess, tidiness. That's the strong similarity shared by all of those features referred to, so the "similar things" would naturally be other details that relate specifically to cleanliess, which, once again, isn't remotely analagous to the Leander explanations which ranged from age to "pen function", which is a huge leap when compared to neat hair and cleancut nails, which both belong in the same easily discernible catergory - personal hygene.

Let's have a 300 page debate just on this topic.

Fisherman
07-27-2009, 11:03 AM
Ben:

"But those charming epithets that you delight to hurl in my direction have a good deal of obvious similarity with eachother, so it would make sense to include "and similar things" in that amusing volley of abuse."

They are just as dissimilar as pen function and writing space afforded - at the very least. "Illogical" for example does not relate in any way to "dishonest" - one points out a lack of ability, the other maliciousness, and they are quite, quite apart. Loads of posters have presented illogical suggestions on these boards, but only the fewest have been dishonest.

The only thing that tie my combination of illogical, dishonest, stupid and ridiculous together is that THEY ALL APPLY TO YOUR SUGGESTION. That is what forms them into a group applicable to the same thing - you.

Same goes for Leanders three listed things - they are similar in the fashion that THEY ALL APPLY TO HIS SUGGESTION OF THINGS THAT MAY ALTER THE HANDWRITING.

You are stalling, obfuscationg, hindering, misinterpreting and similar things, Ben. That is another perfectly useful grouping. And it is exactly what you are doing, no matter that you have it pointed out to you by posters and language teachers alike: You are wrong. Again.

"Safeguard yourself in events of fire, flooding, earthquakes and similar things" What does that tell you, Ben? That you need not worry about malaria, dysenteria, volcano eruptions, thunderstorms, hurricanes, the onslaught of mad killers or stampedes?

Down and out, Ben. Not that you will ever understand it, and not that you will share the laugh I am having at your expense, I know that full well. Now, explain to me how the above sentence relates to your grand scheme of misunderstanding and tormenting the English language. Please do! It will be ever so amusing to hear you state that dysenteria and stampedes are quite, quite similar.

Psst. If you are having trouble understanding it all, I´ll give you a hint: It´s all about perils to your safety this time.

"I'm not the one spoiling to start a new round of "cyber ping pong" the moment the old one starts to die off."

Of course not. You would very much like it to b accepted that both sides have produced viable arguments in this conflict.
But that we have not. You have been wrong on virtually everything. And it is fine and dandy to be wrong; like I said, illogical posters are thirteen a dozen, and that´s quite alright by me.

What is NOT alright though, is when people are dishonest, and when they try to stal and hinder, and when they accuse authorities of lying in order to fob people off. Getting away with such things is something I will not allow you.

Now, you can begin your repentance by admitting that you are totally wrong on this, the latest issue of what Leander would have meant by similar things, and then you can add all the rest of your charade to it, preferably publically apologizing to Leander for your malicious attacks on him.
But let´s begin with the question of whether dysenteria and a stampede are "similar" things. Once you have given an honest answer to that question, we can start to untangle the rest too.

Dysenteria and a stampede, Ben. Similarities, please?

Fisherman
even more fed up

Fisherman
07-27-2009, 11:33 AM
Ah, I see that you have already made an effort on the other material, Ben! Let´s just use the Pakistani school example, where you suddenly realize that the common factor of good-looking school uniforms, nice hair and cut nails is:

"Cleanliess, tidiness. That's the strong similarity shared by all of those features referred to, so the "similar things" would naturally be other details that relate specifically to cleanliess"

Bravo, Ben! Bravo, bravo, bravissimo! THAT´S the spirit! That´s how it works!

Of course, a bottom is not similar to a school uniform per se (at least I have never seen a uniform that resembles a bottom, or a bottom that could be mistaken for a school uniform). But there IS a built-in similarity in this context: the school wants both to be tidy! And so, there is no need for any similarity between the objects described, as long as they share a commonality! And in this case, that commonality was the demand for tidiness and cleanliness. Exactly so, Ben! Well spotted!

Spot on!

Head of the nail!

That means that we have only one more step to take, and you will be in the clear on the Leander grouping too! Now, let´s hear it - the common factor inbetween the age of the writer, the space afforded to him to write on and the function of the pen was .... come on, come on, you can do it, nearly there....! YES! Yes, yes, yes: It was their ability to cause changes in the handwriting of Hutch/Toppy! That was where these things proved similar within their group, and that is why all other things that ALSO may have had an impact on the writing are legitimate suggestions for a membership in that same group!
The restgives itself: A rabbit falling from the sky onto the head of the writer may influence the writing, and so that rabbit belongs to the hitherto unnamed objects that may lay claim to a membership in Leanders "similar" group. So does a sudden push, an intoxication, a decision to try and write in a different fashion, a sneeze, a fart that made the writer reel and Charles Lindberghs dad, flying through the police office in a preconceived miniature replica of "Spirit of Saint Louis".

In other words, things can be totally dissimilar on the surface, AND STILL HAVE INHERENT COMMONALITIES THAT ALLOW FOR THEM TO BE GROUPED! And when such things are listed and followed by a "and similar things" the similarity lies not in a reasonable comparison to the last named object, but instead in that inherent commonality. In that Pakistani school, it was cleanliness and tidiness (again bravo, Ben!), and in Leanders case, the only commonality inbetween a pens function, a writig space afforded and the age of the writer IS THAT THEY MAY ALL CAUSE DIFFERENCES IN THE WRITING - as may virtually thousands of other things do!

Does this, Ben, mean that we are through with this particular issue? Does it mean that you finally recognize that you were wrong to believe that the one and only thing "similar" would have pointed to in Leanders case was similarities to the function of a pen? Am I to - finally - understand that you admit that the similarity Leander spoke about was the similarity of a possible tendency to cause differences in a persons manner of writing?

Please tell me this is so!

Fisherman

Ben
07-27-2009, 03:05 PM
“They are just as dissimilar as pen function and writing space afforded - at the very least. "Illogical" for example does not relate in any way to "dishonest"

Except inasmuch as they both relate to negative personality traits. In that sense they are most assuredly “similar”. They also all happen to bask under the canopy of “accusations made by Fisherman that make him look like a total kock blizzard”, since the last time you claimed I accused you of lying, you threw your rattles out of the pram and pestered the moderators by “reporting me” and others, despite the rules being very clear in requesting that reporters make clear which rule the offending post supposedly violates. Now you’re claiming that a perfectly acceptable observation concerning the (il)logicality of describing something as similar to things that aren’t even similar to each other constitutes an example of “dishonesty” of my part. If it were the other way round, you’d be lashing out and “reporting me”.

You’re entitled to your opinion of my motivations; it also happens to be an outrageously shallow one, but then you’d look for any excuse to pick a fight with me, despite the fact that you’re so prolific, ponderous, bombastic, exclamatory and inarticulate than you tend not be very successful in that format either. It’s little wonder that one of your staunchest Toppy allies told me that he always felt awkward and embarrassed whenever he agreed with you.

“they are similar in the fashion that THEY ALL APPLY TO HIS SUGGESTION OF THINGS THAT MAY ALTER THE HANDWRITING.”

But a meteor landing near Toppy’s house and burning his hand is an example of something that may alter the handwriting, but I’m sure you wouldn’t seriously argue that it has any real similarity to the “function of the pen”, would you? I’d hope not, because they aren’t similar at all, unlike “neat hair” and “clean nails” with all belong so obviously to the category of personal hygene.

“And it is exactly what you are doing, no matter that you have it pointed out to you by posters and language teachers alike: You are wrong. Again.”

The all too familiar Fisherman-esque fixation with stalking Ben around the message boards like a dog on heat attempting to prove him wrong. I realise you have a long, sordid history of that tactic, even to the point of using your children as photographic pawns for that purpose (which I found both insipid and repulsive) but since it never works out well for you, it’s about you took your own advice and “gave it a rest”. There certainly hasn’t been any language teachers telling me I’m wrong, so I’m not sure where that piece of nonsense derived from.

"Safeguard yourself in events of fire, flooding, earthquakes and similar things" What does that tell you, Ben? That you need not worry about malaria, dysenteria, volcano eruptions, thunderstorms, hurricanes, the onslaught of mad killers or stampedes?”

Fire, flooding and earthquakes enter into the obvious and specific category of natural disasters, as any idiot will appreciate. If you’re arguing that flooding and earthquakes have an equal degree of similarity to each other “age” and “function of the pen”, then you’d be factually incorrect. But thanks for once again illustrating my point most beautifully.

“your grand scheme of misunderstanding and tormenting the English language.”

It’s my language, you despicable fraud, not yours. Look no further that Scandinavia for the most spectacular examples of “misunderstanding and tormenting the English language”, when we hear the revelatory piece of news that “cannot be ruled out” secretly means “probable”. Not in the actual English dictionary of course, but in “Leander’s World”, we’re told. That magical place where age-old definitions suddenly acquire a new meaning; the Swedish Handwriting Investigation Team.

“What is NOT alright though, is when people are dishonest, and when they try to stal and hinder, and when they accuse authorities of lying in order to fob people off. Getting away with such things is something I will not allow you.”

Setting aside for a moment the obvious fallacy of the above, and the hideous slur on my motivations, let’s all laugh at your belligerent prediction that you will “not allow” me to get away it. Let’s face it, Fisherman, if I wanted to get away with any devious tactics, you would hardly be in a position to do anything about it. In fact, your omnipresent blitz-posting, bull-in-a-china shop approach to debate will ensure that any salient post are buried under the rubble, and I’d get the last word eventually. Although I don’t like this debating strategy that has become your preference, I’m certainly better at it than you. Stamina, prolixity, wear-‘em out tactics – I dominate in those particular fields, despite the fact that I don’t like them. So if the object of the exercise is to get one over on big bad Ben, try one of three things; cultivate an awareness of the fact that you’re not the best man for the job, stop patronizing the readership with the veiled claim that they all need your help to guide them (i.e. that they’re too stupid to make their minds up themselves), or try a more successful debating strategy.

At the moment, if I wanted to “get away” with something for whatever reason, you’d help those efforts rather than hinder them.

“Now, you can begin your repentance by admitting that you are totally wrong on this, the latest issue of what Leander would have meant by similar things, and then you can add all the rest of your charade to it, preferably publically apologizing to Leander for your malicious attacks on him.”

Or I can just point and laugh at the continued attempts to cyber ping-pong me into submission that fail miserably all the time, and once again I notice you’ve gone for the triumphalist approach. Again, not a sustainable strategy in the long term.

“But let´s begin with the question of whether dysenteria and a stampede are "similar" things”

Who said anything about “dysenteria” (?) and a “stampede”? You did, so let’s ignore that and examine what the actual source said: “Safeguard yourself in events of fire, flooding, earthquakes and similar things". The named occurrences listed were extremely similar to each other – they are all natural disasters, so adding “and similar things” afterwards would make abundant sense in this context. Not so in Leander’s.

“Of course, a bottom is not similar to a school uniform per se (at least I have never seen a uniform that resembles a bottom, or a bottom that could be mistaken for a school uniform”

Who said anything about bottoms? Just you. There may be an arse in the equation, but it certainly wasn’t one of the named “things” so kindly take your bottom-fixation elsewhere and consider the original source:

“Schools also place a lot of importance on school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails and similar things”

They have an obvious similarity with each other, thus validating the “similar things” addition. Neat hair and clean-cut nails share a very strong and very obvious similarity – they all relate specifically to personal hygiene. They are similar to each other, most importantly, in isolation from anything else. If you saw those two things alongside each other, you’d recognise immediately that they both related to the same category. If you saw “function of the pen” and “age” alongside each other, and in isolation from anything else, there’s no way you’d be able to deduce: “Ah, yes, they’re both similar in the sense that they impact upon penmanship”.

“Exactly so, Ben! Well spotted! Spot on! Head of the nail!”

Excessive use of exclamatory language!!

Not very well respected in mainstream journalism!!!

“YES! Yes, yes, yes: It was their ability to cause changes in the handwriting of Hutch/Toppy!”

See above. They wouldn’t be considered remotely similar in isolation from anything else, unlike the examples you naively expected to enhance your cause, which were very similar to each other even when taken out of context. With that in mind, and given the otherwise dissimilar nature of Leander’s suggested explanations, it would have made far better sense to add “and OTHER things”, not “similar”, unless of course he meant similar to the last mentioned difference which concerned the function of the pen. In which case, you’re very unlikely to end up with “many differences”.

“A rabbit falling from the sky onto the head of the writer may influence the writing, and so that rabbit belongs to the hitherto unnamed objects”

Oh I see! So when Leander changed to "many", he was secretly encompassing the truly ludicrous suggestions in order to come up with “many”, and in order to justify his decision to appropriate – all of a sudden – the very terminology and phraseology that you erroneously claimed was all there in his first post. That would certainly explain a great deal.

“In other words, things can be totally dissimilar on the surface, AND STILL HAVE INHERENT COMMONALITIES THAT ALLOW FOR THEM TO BE GROUPED!”

So your examples were patently bogus and wholly inapplicable then, since they all featured “things” that were totally similar on the surface, rendering it unsurprising that they have inherent commonalities that allow for them to be grouped. I think you’ve googled yourself once again into an indefensible position, since a rabbit falling down from the sky (as per your colourful example) doesn’t have any commonality with “age” or “function of the pen”, just as those two have no commonality with eachother.

“Does this, Ben, mean that we are through with this particular issue? Does it mean that you finally recognize that you were wrong to believe that the one and only thing "similar" would have pointed to in Leanders case was similarities to the function of a pen?”

I dearly hope that we're through with this particular issue, but you tend to be of the persuasion that blitz-posting people into submission and demanding that they agree with you is the way forward, but your 100% failure record at that particular strategy should have given you enough self-scrutiny to try something else. Rational people get “through” with a particular issue by sensing a stalemate and agreeing to disagree. You’d be better in that format, since you’re not inherently suited to the continued brawling style.

Ah, but that would be boring for me.

Write a mega post.

Then I'll do a longer one.

I enjoy dictating your internet activity.

Fisherman
07-27-2009, 05:45 PM
Ben writes:

"Fire, flooding and earthquakes enter into the obvious and specific category of natural disasters"

...and so do you. Get help.

Fisherman

The Good Michael
07-27-2009, 06:32 PM
Fisherman,

A caution: At least two people on these threads have declared their unflagging faith in Hutchinson as a murderer. They aren't going to change their minds, and things are becoming, from their direction, similar to the Crystal/Ben scenario of a few months past. I leave it to you to realize who they are. Try looking at their profiles for clues. Anyway, our case has really been proven as far as a certain level of probability goes. I think we need to let the flames of argument die out a little, don't you? No one really needs to get in the last word about this. It's frustrating when one has near certainty about an issue and still rams his head against the pillars of stubbornness. I know. We all know. Both camps feel this, I suppose. Let's see what we can uncover from the relatives and leave this thread as it is. Plenty of time to come back when we have new info.

Cheers,

Mike

Ben
07-27-2009, 06:48 PM
At least two people on these threads have declared their unflagging faith in Hutchinson as a murderer.

I haven't heard anyone make any such declarations, Mike, and as I have tried to explain patiently on several occasions, the issue of Hutchinson's potential culpability should be considered in complete isolation from the Toppy-as Hutch premise. Despite assurances that the latter impacts negatively on the former, that most assuredly is not the case.

Fisherman
07-27-2009, 07:01 PM
Mike writes:

"At least two people on these threads have declared their unflagging faith in Hutchinson as a murderer. They aren't going to change their minds, and things are becoming, from their direction, similar to the Crystal/Ben scenario of a few months past. I leave it to you to realize who they are. Try looking at their profiles for clues."

See what you mean, Mike.

"Anyway, our case has really been proven as far as a certain level of probability goes."

It has.

"I think we need to let the flames of argument die out a little, don't you? No one really needs to get in the last word about this."

Oh, yes, Mike - there is someone who would rather jump of the Matterhorn with a locomotive tied to his neck, than let somebody else than him have the last word. And I leave it to YOU to find out who THAT is!

" It's frustrating when one has near certainty about an issue and still rams his head against the pillars of stubbornness."

I am in no way frustrated about the development on the Hutch/Toppy issue - I am very pleased with it! I have, though, tried to do what cannot be done; talk sense with a condition instead of with a theory. That´s frustrating, admittedly - whereas it should truly be compassion-evoking.

"Let's see what we can uncover from the relatives and leave this thread as it is. Plenty of time to come back when we have new info."

Yes, Mike, let´s do that. I very much hope that we can lay the you-know-what-but-I-have-not-got-a-word-for-it behind us and forget about it as any forthcoming evidence further clinches ehat has already been very, very nearly clinched by the signatures.

Like I told you, I´m off on a fortnights vacation come Wednesday, but it will be very interesting to return and see how things are coming! Happy hunting!

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-28-2009, 02:33 AM
I am very pleased with it! I have, though, tried to do what cannot be done; talk sense with a condition instead of with a theory. That´s frustrating, admittedly - whereas it should truly be compassion-evoking

Again, Fisherman, it is perhaps not the wisest of ideas to accuse me of having a mental disorder which you then attempt to ridicule, especially after having "reported me" for far less serious "offences". I disagree most profoundly that your case is anywhere near "probable", and I disagree most profoundly that anything has been "nearly clinched", except perhaps Iremonger's view that the signatures didn't match.

Enjoy your hols.

Ben

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 01:55 PM
Ben writes:

"it is perhaps not the wisest of ideas to accuse me of having a mental disorder which you then attempt to ridicule"

To begin with, I am not saying mental disorder - I am speaking of a condition, Ben. What kind of condition it is lies beyond my comprension of such things, and so I will not sort it into any special field.
Furthermore, I am not ridiculing you or anybody with such a condition - if you once again read my post, you will see that I find it compassion-evoking and nothing else.

I shall try to refrain from contributing to discussions where you take part in the future - as long as you refrain from hinting at me writing Leanders posts myself, and as long as you do not point experts and authorities out as unethical and prone to lying, it should pose very few problems. You just tend to yourself and we should both be fine.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-28-2009, 02:05 PM
I shall try to refrain from contributing to discussions where you take part in the future - as long as you refrain from hinting at me writing Leanders posts myself

I can assure you that I have no intention of discussing the Leander issue any further, providing others refrain from starting that particular ball rolling again. I will gladly fulfill my side of the bargain, and if you can avoid starting "Why Ben misinterpreted the source" type threads based on discussions that were thrashed out months ago, and which I would not otherwise have touched upon, I too would be most appreciative.

Thanks for the compassion.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 05:52 PM
Ben writes:

"I can assure you that I have no intention of discussing the Leander issue any further, providing others refrain from starting that particular ball rolling again. I will gladly fulfill my side of the bargain"

There is and can be no bargain involving any agreement not to speak of the Leander analysis again, Ben. Nor has any such thing been suggested.
In fact, I suspect I will be discussing Leander very much in the future - but not with you, if I can avoid it.

And how do we open up for such an avoidance on my behalf? We open up for it by no more hinting at the possibility that I wrote Leanders posts myself, and by no more attributing any unethical behaviour of any sort on Leanders behalf.

If you can manage to steer clear of such things, I see no reason at all for us to have much more dealings with each other on the Leander issue.

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
07-28-2009, 06:03 PM
Fisherman,

I imagine that Jane (Crystal) will be gone soon, so there will be less animosity on this thread.

Cheers,

Mike

Ben
07-28-2009, 06:06 PM
Fisherman,

If you want to discuss Leander in the future, you are of course more than welcome to do so, as long as you don't keep repeating the same previously challenged assertions and expect them not to be challenged again in exactly the same manner. We want to avoid going round in circles, because it inevitably leads to a repetition war consisting of you repeating a controversial conclusion and me repeating my argument against it. I just hope that repetition is not what you're envisaging when you expressed that intention to discuss Leander "very much in the future".

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 06:26 PM
Mike writes:

"I imagine that Jane (Crystal) will be gone soon, so there will be less animosity on this thread."

Good grief, Mike - not again...?

The best,
Fisherman

The Good Michael
07-28-2009, 06:35 PM
Fisherman,

Yes. That's why I posted that long post the other day. I suspected and now it's confirmed. Remember I talked about sabotage? That's what has been happening.

Have a nice vacation.

Mike

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 06:36 PM
Ben writes:

"If you want to discuss Leander in the future, you are of course more than welcome to do so, as long as you don't keep repeating the same previously challenged assertions and expect them not to be challenged again in exactly the same manner."

I do expect to be able to reiterate what Leander said, since it is of vital importance to the issue, and since there will be new posters and new issues raised, that will touch on Leander and his findings. And yes, I do expect NOT to have that met with any suggestions that I wrote Leanders posts, and I likewise expect you to treat Leander with respect. I am quite fine with any suggestion from your behalf that Leander "changed his mind" if you stay by that position, but I am NOT happy about any suggestions that this so called change would have been lead on by anything that paints Leander out as anything but a discerning expert.
If you can only describe it as a rare phenomenon, or something unbelievable; be my guest. But the allegations of lying on Leanders behalf must seize. That is no way to thank a researcher of his caliber who has gone through a lot of trouble on our behalf.

On the issue of the "similar" and "many" case, it is but a trifle, and I will tend to it by contacting the linguistic department of Lund University when I get back home. I also have contacts with the Max Planck institute, where a dear friend of mine works at THEIR linguistic department, and so we shall be able to hear what the experts say about it in a few weeks time - unless it has all been settled when I return from my vacation!

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 06:41 PM
Mike writes:

"Yes. That's why I posted that long post the other day. I suspected and now it's confirmed. Remember I talked about sabotage? That's what has been happening."

That, Mike, is about the saddest thing I ever heard. One can´t help - in the midst of the frustration - but to feel sorry for her.
Thanks for keeping me informed - though this was something I could have done without. I can do with that vacation now, though...!

Best greetings, Mike - I´ll catch a big one for you, using one of my twelwe year old son´s flies. His name is Tor, and he ties a pattern of his own called "Tor´s Hammer"!

Again thanks. Take care!

Fisherman

The Good Michael
07-28-2009, 06:48 PM
That, Mike, is about the saddest thing I ever heard. One can´t help - in the midst of the frustration - but to feel sorry for her.
Thanks for keeping me informed - though this was something I could have done without. I can do with that vacation now, though...!



It's sad for all of us. It's sad because some people knew, but allowed her to carry on her sabotage, and sad for her because she's obviously got emotional problems. sad for me because she lied about me in chat. (actually I don't care about that. She has no credibility) sad that people would be misled. The trust level, especially with Hutchinson stuff, may be forever broken. Though we have proven beyond reasonable doubt, our case, it is deeply unsatisfying to have taken so long to do so because of lies and subterfuge. It has caused unreasonable anxiety and stress. As much as I feel sorry for this mentally ill person, the damage she has wrought is irreparable.

Cheers,

Mike

Ben
07-28-2009, 06:54 PM
Oh for crying out loud, Fisherman. Go on holiday.

Mike gave you some sensible advice, and you seem strangely unwilling to embrace it. Every time you so much as hint at an intention to drop the subject, I keep seeing your name as the last poster.

I do expect to be able to reiterate what Leander said, since it is of vital importance to the issue

Well then, you can expect precisely the same objections that you received before from me, and that will include the observation that he offered radically contrasting views on the subject. But seriously, why would you wish to "reiterate what Leander said" when it has been discussed on many posts, in interminable discussions on numerous threads? What would be the point of repeating something that has been "reiterated" ad nauseam? Claiming that such unnecessary reiteration is in the interests of helping new posters in just nonsense, since all you'd need to do in that event is provide a URL to the threads or pages where it was discussed, as opposed to wasting bandwidth.

Sorry, but if I don't get any acquiescence to my requests, then I'm not inclined to help you out with yours, and if you return to the repetetive bombastic prolixity that often characterizes your posts, you can expect precisely the same degree of speculation with regard to Leander than you found distasteful before.

Don't repeat yourself and I won't.

That's my final offer.

I also have contacts with the Max Planck institute, where a dear friend of mine works at THEIR linguistic department, and so we shall be able to hear what the experts say about it in a few weeks time

That would be interesting. Bear in mind, though, that even if they expressed a view as to what would be the most appropriate phraseology in this instance, it wouldn't necessary follow that Leander himself used the most appropriate terminology, especially given my concerns about his application of unambiguous phrases.

Ben
07-28-2009, 07:02 PM
Though we have proven beyond reasonable doubt, our case, it is deeply unsatisfying to have taken so long to do so because of lies and subterfuge

Again with the repetition, Mike.

I understand why you would encourage Fisherman to reel himself in a bit - you're naturally worried that anymore blitz-posting and brawls would have a detrimental effect on the credibility of Team Toppy. That's fine. I'd say precisely the same thing in your shoes, but don't lower yourself to the very level you cautioned against by doing the whole triumphalist rhetoric thing again and claim that you've proved your case "beyond reasonable doubt" when you clearly haven't. The idea that anxiety and stress has been created doesn't make much sense considering that nobody is being kept on these threads against their will.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 07:58 PM
"Well then, you can expect precisely the same objections that you received before from me, and that will include the observation that he offered radically contrasting views on the subject."

That, Ben, is fine and dandy - you are entitled to that wiew as long as you need it. You are not. though, entitled to suggest that leander lied to fob me off.
Long as you stay away from such suggestions, I´m fine with whatever conceptions you have.

"But seriously, why would you wish to "reiterate what Leander said" when it has been discussed on many posts, in interminable discussions on numerous threads?"

It could be a simple question from a new poster: "What did Leander say, and what did he mean by it?" Nothing stranger than that. And Leanders wiews belong to the discussion very much.

"you can expect precisely the same degree of speculation with regard to Leander than you found distasteful before"

If so, I must remind you that slander is not allowed by the Casebook rules, and I shall take what steps can be taken to keep the site civil.
I am glas though, that you now admit that it is nothing by "speculation" on your behalf - which of course makes it wo much more distasteful.

"That would be interesting. Bear in mind, though, that even if they expressed a view as to what would be the most appropriate phraseology in this instance, it wouldn't necessary follow that Leander himself used the most appropriate terminology, especially given my concerns about his application of unambiguous phrases."

...but since such suggestions could be put forward in any case (à la Schopenhauer was just joking; prove me wrong if you can!), we sjall just have to move with consensus - at least the rest of us will.

The best,
Fisherman

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 07:59 PM
Ben writes, to Mike:

"don't lower yourself to the very level you cautioned against by doing the whole triumphalist rhetoric thing again and claim that you've proved your case "beyond reasonable doubt" when you clearly haven't."

That too, Ben, will be a matter of consensus. Wait and see.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
07-28-2009, 08:09 PM
That, Ben, is fine and dandy - you are entitled to that wiew as long as you need it. You are not. though, entitled to suggest that leander lied to fob me off.

"Fine and dandy". Okay, so we've established that repeating a previously challenged objection makes absolutely no sense when there is ample opportunity to provide a URL to earlier discussions. Good. Of course, if any repetition of repeated assertions were to occur, I'll first scratch my head in appalled disbelief before reminding you of the same objections to them I had before. If you then argue back at me, we'd be in a repetition fest, and I'd be decidedly upset if such a scenario were to occur, especially when I'm trying to be as complient to your requests as possible.

"What did Leander say, and what did he mean by it?" Nothing stranger than that

Then just provide a URL.

If so, I must remind you that slander is not allowed by the Casebook rules, and I shall take what steps can be taken to keep the site civil.

So probably better not to accuse me or anyone else of being dishonest and stupid, comparing me to leading Nazis, or accusing others of stepping over dead people to bolster their positions.

As I've said before, and as Mike has cautioned you on several occasions, don't go for the brawling repetative approach. It doesn't suit you, and it certainly doesn't help the Toppy cause.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 08:40 PM
If, Ben, you just calm down and stay away from accusations of foul play on my or unethical ditto on Leanders behalf, we should be just fine.

If I choose to give my wiew to any poster, I see no reason why it should matter if I posted a URL or gave it directly on the thread; the latter seems the more courteous and accomodating way to me and the message will be the same. It is likely that differing methods will apply on differing occasions, and whenever I give my wiew, you are of course entitled to give yours too, to any poster you like to give it to, as long as your posts are cleansed from "speculations" involving foul play on my behalf and/or lying or being unethical on Leanders ditto.

The best,
Fisherman

perrymason
07-28-2009, 09:25 PM
With all due respect to my friends....this issue is far from being a critical one, in fact its akin to arguing about whether Mary came from Ireland or Wales,......since neither can be proven, and neither answers anything about who killed her....I might suggest starting a George Hutchinson Forum somewhere and pursuing all these questions about him there.

But from my vantage point... he is irrelevant to the most pertinent questions we should be addressing here....whether he signed both documents or not.

All the best folks.

Observer
07-28-2009, 09:50 PM
Hi Mike

Fisherman,

Yes. That's why I posted that long post the other day. I suspected and now it's confirmed. Remember I talked about sabotage? That's what has been happening.

Have a nice vacation.

Mike

It was pretty obvious really, the sytle was unmistakable. I reffered to her as Jane C, a couple of times but she didnt bite.

all the best

Observer

Fisherman
07-28-2009, 10:09 PM
Michael writes:

"With all due respect to my friends....this issue is far from being a critical one, in fact its akin to arguing about whether Mary came from Ireland or Wales,......since neither can be proven, and neither answers anything about who killed her....I might suggest starting a George Hutchinson Forum somewhere and pursuing all these questions about him there."

This thread, Michael, is in itself an anomaly - it should never have been a necessity from the outset as far as I´m concerned. That aside, though, it is exactly the correct thread for the type of discussion that is ongoing here.

It is instead the boards themselves that are not the correct boards for a thread like this - and I hope it is the first and last one of it´s kind.

...meaning that I can very well see what you are saying!

The best, my friend!
Fisherman

Sam Flynn
07-28-2009, 10:20 PM
With all due respect to my friends....this issue is far from being a critical oneIt is rather important, inasmuch as establishing the identity of one of the more interesting "suspects" in the case allows us to discern some aspects of his character, perhaps even his history. akin to arguing about whether Mary came from Ireland or Wales, since neither can be provenOh, but this can be proven, Mike - it's one of the few aspects of the Kelly story for which one could reasonably hope as much. Opportunities like these don't crop up very often in this case, which makes it all the sadder when one sees the siege mentality kicking in. We should seek to build bridges to the past, not barricade the walls.

perrymason
07-29-2009, 02:17 AM
It is rather important, inasmuch as establishing the identity of one of the more interesting "suspects" in the case allows us to discern some aspects of his character, perhaps even his history. Oh, but this can be proven, Mike - it's one of the few aspects of the Kelly story for which one could reasonably hope as much. Opportunities like these don't crop up very often in this case, which makes it all the sadder when one sees the siege mentality kicking in. We should seek to build bridges to the past, not barricade the walls.

Hi Sam,

Im glad you worded your post with "can" happen, in the case of Mary Kelly, as its my understanding that her birthplace registry or certificate or census data that confirms the story she told Barnett and others has not been located.

In the case of George Hutchinson, we need no bridge to the past...we see what was known of him and what was thought of him. He doesnt become a "suspect" as you say unless you talk to people who feel he is suspicious. There are no grounds for even considering him as suspect.

I suppose its perhaps my perception that we should be seeking out information that might relate to the Ripper killings if were members here....its not that I see harm in exploring tidbits of history "just for the jolly"...but this thing with Hutchinson is getting way too out of hand.

The only thing that is known about him is that the police changed their mind about his trustworthiness....Im assuming once they had investigated his story within the 72 hours after his initially giving it.

That doesnt equate to witness, suspect or anything of the kind...it equates to a perceived charlatan, thats all.

Cheers Sam

caz
07-29-2009, 02:07 PM
Fisherman,

Yes. That's why I posted that long post the other day. I suspected and now it's confirmed. Remember I talked about sabotage? That's what has been happening.

Have a nice vacation.

Mike

Bloody hell, GM - I must admit I did have my own suspicions at first that all was not what it seemed, but if this has indeed been confirmed it became a classier act than some others I've seen.

I had an unexpected private message back in June from this poster and I thought I recognised a style from ten years ago, rather than just a few weeks. I did wonder if it was a fishing expedition so I responded with due caution - even dropped a hint, as you can see from this extract:

And don't let anyone take you for a ride. If you don't know someone is posting under his/her real name, exercising a bit of caution never hurts, just in case their motives are not entirely genuine.

Love,

Can't be too Careful Caz
X

The Good Michael
07-29-2009, 02:16 PM
I did wonder if it was a fishing expedition so I responded with due caution -



Caz,

That's her MO alright. I'm not even sure it's a HER anymore. She/he/it always throws out the line to see what will be caught, playing Polly Purebread in private. Still, mental illness takes all forms.

Cheers,

Mike

Ben
07-29-2009, 03:18 PM
If, Ben, you just calm down and stay away from accusations of foul play on my or unethical ditto on Leanders behalf, we should be just fine

And if you stay away from interminable repetition of previously challenged positions, I'll remain perfectly calm. Please don't ever think that it would be remotely discourteous to provide a link to an earlier discussion rather than writing it all out again as though it were never challenged. It's ensures that you don't irritate those who have challenged your position, and it doesn't waste unnecessary bandwidth.

It is likely that differing methods will apply on differing occasions, and whenever I give my wiew, you are of course entitled to give yours too

But as above, I'd dearly hope that no repetition were to occur, because when we'd find ourselves in a situation where you repeat, I repeat, and you counter repeat, and then the whole sorry game or cyber ping-pong will commence all over again. Try to avoid that if possible, please, and then we'll be in no danger of any tempers needing to "calm down."

Best regards,
Ben

Ben
07-29-2009, 03:32 PM
He doesnt become a "suspect" as you say unless you talk to people who feel he is suspicious. There are no grounds for even considering him as suspect.

I'm afraid that's nonsense, Mike.

If you examine his reported actions and movements on the night of Kelly's death, and combine it with a knowledge of both the Whitechapel murders and the recorded behavioural traits of some known serial killers, then he is worthy of at least suspicion in anyone's book. I'm not saying that there can be no other explanation for these suspicions beyond his guilt, since non-guilty parties can often appear suspicious (just consider some of the earliest police suspects), but a "suspect" he certainly his.

You seem to have decided that a dismissed witness must automatically equate to a dismissed suspect, and that just isn't a permissible deduction. A police force in 1888 could easily have cast Hutchinson and his statement onto the ever-burgeoning heap of bogus leads and overlooked his potential culpability in the crimes in the process. Policing in general was in its infancy in 1888, and knowledge of serial crime stood at zero, effectively.

Best regards,
Ben

caz
07-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Caz,

That's her MO alright. I'm not even sure it's a HER anymore. She/he/it always throws out the line to see what will be caught, playing Polly Purebread in private. Still, mental illness takes all forms.

Cheers,

Mike

Well, if you recall, I did wonder if she was a he when she accused certain female posters (Ally included I think) of attacking her because they had penis envy. I thought that took the humble Freudian slip to a rather disturbing new level. :lol:

Hi Ben,

I admire your tenacity, but when the police were suddenly left in the lurch, with a big old hole where Hutch's suspect had been before their star witness blabbed to the papers, don't you think they'd have wanted to know what he was really doing in or around Miller's Court, two or three hours after Cox's sighting of Mary with Blotchy Face?

Do you seriously think they'd have let Hutch go on his merry way, assuming his intentions had been completely harmless, if they thought he had lied to them about the movements of his dead friend on her last night on earth?

Imagine if they had finally caught up with the ripper in the form of Blotchy Face. They could not have got him into court without dealing with the small matter of Hutch first, because BF would just say he had left Mary alive long before GH's claimed loitering. The defence would have a field day if the cops had to admit they had lost track of this discredited former witness without even establishing if he could have been the last man in instead of Blotchy. Blotchy would then have got off on the grounds of reasonable doubt.

At least Packer had a legitimate reason for being where he was on the night of Liz's murder. Hutch's claimed reasons for being where he claimed to be on the night of Mary's murder would have been up for further scrutiny the moment they stopped taking his suspect sighting seriously - unless they knew something we don't or didn't have the brains they were born with.

Love,

Caz
X

Ben
07-29-2009, 07:32 PM
Hi Caz,

don't you think they'd have wanted to know what he was really doing in or around Miller's Court, two or three hours after Cox's sighting of Mary with Blotchy Face?

Yes, I do, but there's a crucial difference between "wanting to know" something and actually knowing it, and in the case of Hutchinson's whereabouts and motivations on the night of Kelly's death, there was precious little chance of converting that natural curiosity into a tangible result. It's entirely possible that the police decided he must have been a publicity-seeker who had no connections to the crime or crime scene at all, in which case, we have no way of determining whether they were right or wrong to assume as much.

If, however, they registered the compatibility between Hutchinson's version of events and Lewis' account of the wideawake loiterer, it cannot be ruled out that they viewed him with at least some suspicion. We'd be left with precisely the same problem in that event - suspecting something or someone, as opposed to converting those suspicions into a concrete conclusion.

More often than not, the latter doesn't follow.

Green River Killer Gary Ridgway was suspected by the police, but because they couldn't convert those suspicions into confirmation or either guilt or innocence, they were forced to send him on his "merry way" until DNA evidence caught him ought decades later.

The defence would have a field day if the cops had to admit they had lost track of this discredited former witness without even establishing if he could have been the last man in instead of Blotchy.

In that scenario, the chances of Blotchy getting off the hook would depend on any other independent evidence accumulated by the police in support of Blotchy's guilt, and whether other eyewitnesses from previous murders were able to cement Mary Cox's identification. The defence that "maybe Hutchinson was there afterwards" would then seem a little forlorn in terms of justice-evasion. The above also presupposes that Hutchinson and Blotchy were separate entities.

Hutch's claimed reasons for being where he claimed to be on the night of Mary's murder would have been up for further scrutiny the moment they stopped taking his suspect sighting seriously - unless they knew something we don't or didn't have the brains they were born with.

Why are those the only two options?

What's wrong with the idea that they did entertain suspicions but couldn't prove their case either way? There are many, many shades of plausible grey between the two extremes of magical concrete proof that resolved the situation in a neat and tidy package, and the police being stupid.

Best regards,
Ben

P.S. This takes us some considerable distance away from the original premise of the discussion, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but rules are rules I guess. ;)

Sam Flynn
07-30-2009, 12:02 AM
Well, if you recall, I did wonder if she was a he when she accused certain female posters (Ally included I think) of attacking her because they had penis envy.You mean they didn't have penis-envy, Caz? Sigh! I guess I'm on my own after all.

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 02:22 PM
Okay!

Before I had my vacation, I promised Ben to contact the language experts at the university of Lund to find out what "and similar things" was referring to, in Frank Leanders sentence "The differences could be explained by H. being relatively young at the first writing occasion, the surrounding circumstances as available writing space, function of the pen and similar things."

My stance is that it would be referring to all of the three things listed, whereas Ben told me that it would have been referring to only the last listed item, the function of the pen.

Here is Marit Juliens, senior lecturer and heading the centre of language and literature in Nordic languages at the University of Lund, answer to the question at hand:

"När man samordnar flera än två fraser så behöver man inte ha konjunktion mellan varje fras. Istället kan man sätta komma mellan fraserna, med undantag av de två sista, där man har en konjunktion (och, eller) - jfr. det Svenska skrivregler säger om användning av komma vid samordning.

Den rimliga tolkningen av din mening blir därmed att fraserna "H. är relativt ung vid det första skrivtillfället", "tillgängligt skrivutrymme", "pennans funktion" och "liknande" är samordnade, och det betyder att "liknande" syftar på de tre föregående fraserna.

Hälsningar,

Marit Julien
docent
Språk- och litteraturcentrum, nordiska språk
Lunds universitet

In translation:

When one coordinates more than two phrases, there is no need to have conjunctions inbetween each of the phrases. Instead, one can put commas between the phrases, with an exception for the two finishing ones where a conjunction (and, or) – compare what Swedish rules of writing says about the use of commas when coordinating.
The reasonable interpretation of your phrase thus becomes that the phrases ”H. is relatively young at the first writing occasion”, ”writing space afforded”, ”the function of the pen” and ”similar things” are coordinated, and that means that ”similar things” refers to the three preceding phrases.

Greetings,

Marit Julien
Senior lecturer
The centre of language and literature, Nordic languages
Lund university

Nothing much to add there, I should think.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-18-2009, 02:48 PM
Thanks for that, Fish.

My stance is that it would be referring to all of the three things listed, whereas Ben told me that it would have been referring to only the last listed item, the function of the pen.

That stance was based on the fact that the specifically cited "explanations" had no similarity with eachother. Since it makes no sense whatsoever to describe something as similar to several other "things" that have no obvious commonality with eachother, I assumed he meant "simililar" to the last mentioned explanation, which concerned the "function of the pen". I agree with your contact that it would be rather unusual to include "and similar things" in reference to the last mentioned factor only, but I can't see how any other explanation makes any sense given the lack of similarity between the suggested explanations for the handwriting differences.

Thanks again, though, and I extend the same to Marit Julien.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 03:01 PM
The obvious and topic-related commonality you are looking for, Ben, is that the age of the writer, the space afforded and the function of the pen ALL have a tendency to influence the handstyle, just as has been pointed out before.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-18-2009, 03:13 PM
In which case, you'd say "other things", Fish, because the explanations cited by Leander have no "similarity" with eachother in isolation from the handwriting alteration issue.

Cheers,
Ben

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 03:35 PM
Ben writes:

Ben writes:
"In which case, you'd say "other things", Fish, because the explanations cited by Leander have no "similarity" with eachother in isolation from the handwriting alteration issue."

Other things with the built-in similarity that they all could influence the handwriting, you mean? That similarity is all you need to open up for the linguistic choice Leander made. If he was not to be allowed such a construction, then it must be weighed in that no two parametres of his choice, illustrating things that may influence the handwriting would be exactly similar! Where would we draw the line for what should be condoned, and what should not? Would it be OK to speak of afforded space, angle of the table and similar things? Could we use age of the writer, physical capacities of the writer and similar things? Or would Leander never be allowed to speak of similar things when listing the different parametres of his choice?

Thanks to Marit Julien, we have the answer: Coordinating phrases in a context like this means that ALL the given parametres belong to the context. And when the parametres all have a factor in common, it does in no way mean that this becomes less applicable.

If you once again disagree; fine. I have done nothing but what I said I would do: I have found out how the phrase should be read according to the expertise in the field, and if that leaves anybody discontended, angry, frustrated, protesting, mocking, questioning or pointing and laughing - or similar things (you could see that one coming, could you not?) - there is only so much I can do about it. I have argued my case and I have had it corroborated by a top authority and I am quite accustomed to the fact that such a combination has failed to impress you before.
Me, I´m quite happy though.

Fisherman
headed for other threads

Ben
08-18-2009, 04:07 PM
I don't disagree with Julien's position that, generally speaking, "similiar things" is used in reference to all aforementioned "things", and not just the last one, but that's because the vast majority of sentences so constructed contain factors, objects and events that are similar to eachother in isolation. If I provide a list of "things" that include hurricances, volcanos, earthquakes and tornados, you'd have no trouble recognising the inherent similarity and the obvious theme - natural disasters. Nor would you have any trouble thinking of "similar things" that also belong to that central theme.

We discovered from your examples that "similar things" was used in precisely this context, i.e. in reference to objects, events and behavioural traits that share an obvious similarity with eachother even in isolation from the given context. If you say that cancer, a heart attack, a stoke and similar things can result in death, the sentence would make sense, but if you replace cancer with "charging rhino" and heart attack with "enemy" fire, the "and similiar things" is no longer applicable. You'd observe that all three may easily result in death along with many other different things, and so avoid confusion.

I have no intention of "mocking" anyone, thank you, nor am I angry. I have no need to be, since I'm in broad agreement with Julien. If you think "your case" has been corroborated, fair enough. I don't agree that it has.

headed for other threads

The ones I'm currently contributing to, naturally.

Just kidding.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 04:41 PM
Ben writes:

"f I provide a list of "things" that include hurricances, volcanos, earthquakes and tornados, you'd have no trouble recognising the inherent similarity and the obvious theme - natural disasters."

You are absolutely correct, Ben! I would have no trouble recognizing that these things were listed together because of their inherent common denominator of being natural disasters. And I agree that speaking of a flooding or a woodfire would be speaking of similar things, for the simple reason that they involve the natural disaster factor too.

But I would very much challenge that these things are in any way alike! We are speaking of water, fire, rupturing ground, lavafloods and so on - all extremly dissimilar to each other - in fact so dissimilar that one (water) may dissolve another (fire). The fact of the matter is that their ONLY likeness is that they are listed as natural disasters. In all other aspects, they differ.

Let´s take another look at what this leaves us with: It leaves us with an array of different things that have a common factor that allows for us to speak of yet other things, related to them only by the factor of being natural disasters (for example an explosion caused by leaking natural gas or a tsunami or an icemountain calfed from a glacier and dropping onto a ship) that make up a group that you consider consists of things similar to each other.
Does that similarity lie anywhere else that in the sommon denominator that they are all natural disasters? Do they look the same? Smell the same? Occur in the same area? Kill in the same fashion?
Are they hard to tell apart: "Good grief, I am being fried to death in this woodfire. Or is it a hurricane, or perhaps a tsunami? They are so similar that I can´t tell which one it is!"

None of this applies. They are totally and extremely dissimilar BUT FOR THE ONE FACTOR THAT THEY COUNT AS NATURAL DISASTERS!

Same thing goes for function of the pen, age of the writer, leaning of the surface you write on, the space afforded for writing, physical shortcomings, sudden gusts of air moving the paper you write on, intoxication making it difficult to write, spasms, the chair you are sitting in, the position you are standing in, the level of anxiety - they are all dissimilar to a smaller or larger extent on the surface of it, but they all share the common denominator of having an influence on how you write.
They are dissimilar but share a similarity, just like natural disasters are dissimilar but share a similarity.

It is a case that corroborates itself, once you give it some thought. Alternatively, you give it even more thought, and search for any reason to avoid this insight. It´s anybodys choice.

And that´s no kidding on my behalf.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-18-2009, 05:04 PM
Hang on...

You just said you're headed for other threads.

But the moment I respond, you're back to this one.

You said "nothing much to add",

Now you're "adding" loads.

But I would very much challenge that these things are in any way alike!

Oh, come off it, Fisherman. Anyone can see that flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados all belong under the obvious canopy of natural disasters. If someone listed those things and then asked you what you thought the central theme was, you'd say natural disasters, and I have no doubt whatsoever that if you were then asked to provide an example of a "similar thing" you'd cite another example of a natural disaster. However different you're now claiming these things are, the salient point is that by listing a handful of them, the reader is able to identify the theme immediately even in isolation from a specific context.

But what happens if I provide you with a list that includes hippos, the Eifel Tower and a meteor? You'd have no idea as to the central theme, nor would you be able to provide examples of "similar" things unless I provided a specific context, which, in this case, is things that can injur or kill you if they fall on you. In isolation, they are not similar, just as age and pen function are not similar to eachother. So, if I wanted to provide you with a list of things than can cause injury or death if they fell on you, I might cite those three objects and a very diverse range of other things. That way, we're making sense.

You can describe things as "similar" if you are able to identify both the central theme and "similar things" even in the absence of a specific context, and the natural disasters mentioned in your original example fit the bill perfectly in this regard. Age and "available space" simply do not. They are not similar to eachother, so it makes better sense to say that these explanations might have come into play along with other/different things - not "similar", because they aren't.

Samr thing goes for function of the pen, age of the writer, leaning of the surface you write on, the space afforded for writing, physical shortcomings, sudden gusts of air moving the paper you write on, intoxication, making it difficult to write, spasms, the chair you are sitting in, the position you are standing in, the level of anxiety

I cannot possibly read "age, function of the pen, available space and similar things" and say to myself: Aha, he must mean similar to, I dunno, levels of anxiety! I cannot make the connection because levels of anxiety isn't "similar" to any of the three specifically cited differences. If on the hand, he had mentioned "other" things to those three, that would neturally encompass levels of anxiety. It's less restrictive.

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 07:18 PM
Ben writes:

"You just said you're headed for other threads.

But the moment I respond, you're back to this one."

Mmmm, ´tis a pity, is it not? But then again, as long as things need a bit of correction, I´m happy to oblige! Like this:

"Oh, come off it, Fisherman. Anyone can see that flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados all belong under the obvious canopy of natural disasters."

Yup. And anyone but you-know-who can see that the writers age, the function of the pen and the writing spoace afforded all belong under the obvious canopy of things influencing the writing abilities.

"However different you're now claiming these things are, the salient point is that by listing a handful of them, the reader is able to identify the theme immediately even in isolation from a specific context."

Exactly! And when we were speaking with Leander we did not even have to bother to look for the context. We knew from the outset that we were going to discuss handwriting.

"what happens if I provide you with a list that includes hippos, the Eifel Tower and a meteor?"

You will have provided a list of things that is not as immediately relevant to the discussion as the two other lists we have been discussing, BUT once you find a common factor, you have also found a similarity (they may fall on you), and then you are actually allowed to speak of "hippos, Eiffel Towers and meteors and similar things" IN THAT CONTEXT. It will not mean that they are similar in any other instance, but that goes for natural disasters too, remember?

"Age and "available space" simply do not. They are not similar to each other"

Oh yes; in the same way that natural disasters have a factor in common, so do they. In the same way that natural disasters don´t look, smell or feel similar, so don´t they. But the context - and the following similarity in that respect - is there.

"I cannot possibly read "age, function of the pen, available space and similar things" and say to myself: Aha, he must mean similar to, I dunno, levels of anxiety!"

Then try "In the same way that space afforded and the function of the pen may affect the writing, so may anxiety. In that respect these things that differ on the surface have a similar quality" and "In the same way that vulcano eruptions and earthquakes may be described as natural disasters, so may a tsunami. In that respect, these things that differ on the surface have a similar quality".
The more specific that quality is, the more people will recognize the correctness of the grouping. And influence on handstyle and/or belonging to natural disasters are VERY specific qualities, whereas falling on you, like hippos and meteors, is a lot more unspecific.

The best,
Fisherman
(who may be around some more - who knows? But I would like you to see what I am speaking of)







Anyone can see that flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados all belong under the obvious canopy of natural disasters.

Ben
08-18-2009, 07:44 PM
Mmmm, ´tis a pity, is it not? But then again, as long as things need a bit of correction, I´m happy to oblige! Like this:

You're not correcting anything, Fisherman. You're just looking for excuses for engaging in another round of "cyber ping-pong" with me, such is my seemingly hypnotic ability to command your undivided attention and coerce your prolix persistence, thus rendering pointless your oft-repeated calls to seek out other threads. I'm irresistable to you. Admit it. "Battle mode" doesn't suit you. I've told you. Mike's dropped the hint countless times.

Yup. And anyone but you-know-who can see that the writers age, the function of the pen and the writing spoace afforded all belong under the obvious canopy of things influencing the writing abilities.

Whoops, that's blatent repetition of the order that merits a swift copy and paste I'm afraid: You can describe things as "similar" if you are able to identify both the central theme and "similar things" even in the absence of a specific context, and the natural disasters mentioned in your original example fit the bill perfectly in this regard. Age and "available space" simply do not. They are not similar to eachother, so it makes better sense to say that these explanations might have come into play along with other/different things - not "similar", because they aren't.

If the factors listed have no obvious similarity with eachother then it becomes necessary to specify which factor the "similar things" have a similarity to. If you don't do that, it's impossible to infer "levels of anxiety" as an unnamed example of one of those "similar things" that may account for the handwriting differences. Levels of anxiety is simply not a "similar thing" to either pen function, available space or age, whereas if he had stated that "other things" may account for the differences, a great many other possibilities are encompassed in addition to the sentence starting to make a good deal more sense.

BUT once you find a common factor, you have also found a similarity (they may fall on you), and then you are actually allowed to speak of "hippos, Eiffel Towers and meteors and similar things

No, you're not.

That doesn't make sense.

In order to make sense, you'd need to speak of hippos, Eifel Tower, meteors and lots of other different things. Things that have the same effect despite their dissimilarity with eachother.

In the same way that natural disasters don´t look, smell or feel similar, so don´t they.

But if someone were to provide you with a list of natural disasters, you would know the context without having to be told - it's so obviously a list of natural disasters, whereas if you were given a list of unrelated occurances such as age and "available space", it's almost impossible to guess the context. They are dissimilar things that happen to share a specific influence on something equally specific. That does not make them similar in isolation, as natural disasters most assuredly are.

But gird your loins and keep battling away with the poster you expressed your public intention to have as little to do with as possible.

who may be around some more - who knows?

Me. You will. Watch.

Fisherman
08-18-2009, 08:08 PM
Ben tries his old sack of XXXX:

"You're just looking for excuses for engaging in another round of "cyber ping-pong" with me, such is my seemingly hypnotic ability to command your undivided attention and coerce your prolix persistence, thus rendering pointless your oft-repeated calls to seek out other threads. I'm irresistable to you. Admit it."

This was not what the thread was about, was it?

"You can describe things as "similar" if you are able to identify both the central theme and "similar things" even in the absence of a specific context"

You don´t write them rules, Ben - the lady at the University does. Plus - as you would seem to have conveniently forgotten - the context was given in the Leander discussion. There was no reason to believe that he spoke of ANYTHING but signature and handstyle related things. I got it, Sam got it, Vic got it, Mike got it, Lund University got it, in fact EVERYBODY did ... no, wait a minute here....

"That doesn't make sense."

To whom? I got it, Sam got it, Mike got it, Vic got it, Lund University....

"But if someone were to provide you with a list of natural disasters, you would know the context without having to be told"

...and when someone GIVES you the context of signature comparison and speaks of things that may affect the handstyle, you really ought to tag along - or get left behind. I got it, Sam got it ...

"Bit gird your loins and keep battling away with the poster you expressed your public intention to have as little do with as possible."

Ehrm, the battle just went down, Ben. You lost. Didn´t you notice... I bet Sam did, Mike did, Vic did ... perhaps not the University, though.

The very best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-19-2009, 01:49 AM
Ehrm, the battle just went down, Ben. You lost. Didn´t you notice...

And therein lies the problem with your approach to discussion of historical events. It's all about battles as far as you're concerned. The distinction between winning and losing is one you obviously cherish very deeply, for which you have my sympathy. It didn't work for you on the Stride threads and it isn't working here. It's this point-scoring approach that creates irritation, and listing two or three people who share your Toppy stance is one such fallacious debating strategy. This whole thread only came about because you were insistent upon dredging up a discussion that we had previously elected to agree to disagree over. I don't begrudge you contacting an expert, but I can't accept that it has cast doubt on my "case" and I've explained in detail why.

If you disagree, just let it be known once and move on. Don't use it as an excuse for a cyber-brawl and get all fussy and obstreperous in the process. People have enough nous to decide for themselves without "help" from excessive ponderous narration.

You don´t write them rules, Ben - the lady at the University does.

No she doesn't. What a strange thing to say. I don't disagree with her, but she doesn't write the rules.

Fisherman
08-19-2009, 01:56 PM
Ben:

" It's all about battles as far as you're concerned."

That, Ben, is a strange thing to claim for a man that signed off his former post by saying: "gird your loins and keep battling away with the poster you expressed your public intention to have as little to do with as possible", and who time and time again has stated that nobody can compete with his stamina...!

It is not about stamina, and it never was. It is about getting things right, and realizing what they look like when they eventually reach that stage.

The posters I was exchanging with before once again turning to this thread, were Rob House and Sam Flynn. It was in a question concerning the Tabram killing, and Rob and Sam entertained a wiew in a certain issue that was not correct. I posted two quotes that showed this, and was met by a very friendly counterpost by Rob, who simply recognized that he seemingly had been wrong - he added a few more quotes of his own that further elucidated this. Sam chimed in and agreed, and thanked me for having drawn his attention to the fact that he had missed out on vital parts of the issue we were discussing.

If any of these gentlemen ever pondered a tactic of telling me to gird my loins and get ready for battle, they did an admirable job of hiding it. Although there may have been a "smart" way to linguistically challenge what I stated, they obviously refrained from doing such a thing. They did not call me names for having gone against their wiews, and they did not hint at the possibility that I could have made the material up on my own.

Maybe, Ben, this is why people follow you around the boards, "hypnotized" by your presence? Maybe that has something to do with the fact that it is totally unsufficient to present expert corroboration of what is said when debating with you, since you simply shove such things aside. The fact that you question a credible and renowned specialist, point him out as swinging wildly between stances (although a number of other posters tell you that they believe that the expert in question has stayed firm throughout) and as somebody who is willing to throw all ethics overboard to "fob people off" - could that be somehow connected to the fact that people like me won´t let you get away with it?

Maybe you have not given that any afterthought, maybe you simply cannot bring yourself to do such a thing, I don´t know. But I thoroughly reccomend it.

This thread has been about whether Frank Leander really meant that there could have been many reasons for the changes in handstyle that are revealed by a comparison between the police protocol signatures and the 1898 and 1911 signatures.
We have Leander speaking about age of the writer, writing space afforded, function of the pen "and similar things" - but you won´t recognize that "similar things" referred to anything but function of the pen. Plus you tell us that very few things could be similar to that phenomenon - in fact, it is so special a function that similarities are not about. Therefore, we know that Leander actually belived that ONLY these three things - age of the writer, writing space afforded and function of the pen - could have had an impact on the handstyle differences. This, according to you, is the most credible intrepretation of what Leander stated. It rules out inherent physical changes within the writer, it rules out writing angles, length of the pen, intoxication, writing position and any other thing that could have had an impact - according to you. Don´t you think, Ben, that such an interpretation would be completely and utterly ridiculous? That three things, and three things only, were tied by Leander to the differences as being possible explanations? That all other explanations were non-starters in his belief?? No?

We of course also have Leander actually saying "many things" - but since he did not use that exact phrase in his first post, you prefer to claim that he is unallowed to do so in a latter one - it eradicates all credibility on his behalf, and only shows us that Leander had grown tired of my questions and wanted to fob me off - according to you.

On the way here, you have also discarded the verdict of Lund University, who adamantly recognized that "similar things" referred to all three variables precedingly listed. It applies universally, but not in this case - according to you.

So where do we go from here, logically? Well, we could - of course - always ask Leander what he was referring to when he wrote "and similar things". But then again, if he was to say "I of course meant ALL things that could have an impact on the handstyle", that would of course mean that you would step in and say that this was something he did not say in his first post on the topic, would you not? And that would of course once again show us that we are dealing with a useless, incompetent expert who reels drunkenly between totally different stances, would it not?

The so called "battle" is over, Ben, whether you like it or not. You are the loneliest man on earth in this question, and that´s as it should be.

Several decades after the WWII, a Japanese guy was found on a barren island somewhere in the Pacific. When people stepped ashore, he shot at them, defending his island in his emperors´ service, and it took quite some time to convince him that he was the only guy out there still fighting the second world war. It had all slipped by him; he had had very little information, and what little he had heard, he had considered malicious propaganda.

You are not at that kind of loss, Ben - you have been told over and over again by a number of posters that you are wrong, quite simply. The time has come for you to either decide to stay on your very own island - inhabited by nobody else but you, as far as I can see - or take the plunge, and dive in and swim over to the mainland.
It will feel cold in the beginning, but you can always dry up in the sun afterwards.

The best,
Fisherman

Victor
08-19-2009, 03:37 PM
I don't disagree with Julien's position that, generally speaking, "similiar things" is used in reference to all aforementioned "things", and not just the last one, but that's because the vast majority of sentences so constructed contain factors, objects and events that are similar to eachother in isolation.

Hi all,
It looks like the argument is over. Ben agrees, if "don't disagree" can be take to mean agree, and you ignore the qualifier which makes the sentence the equivalent of "I don't disagree that black is black, as long as it's black" and that's as pedantic as you can get.

If you say that cancer, a heart attack, a stoke and similar things can result in death, the sentence would make sense, but if you replace cancer with "charging rhino" and heart attack with "enemy" fire, the "and similiar things" is no longer applicable.
"A charging rhino, enemy fire, a stroke and similar things can result in death" does sound slightly strange, but that's because the ability that's affected (death) has been deliberately selected to get so broad that it's obviously going to have that effect.

I cannot think of one instance where that sentence could be used unless you deliberate manipulate the situation to force it. For the other example, the natural disasters one, I can see that croppping up, but rarely and that's getting away from the context, which I think is... '[an ability] can be affected by [factors] and similar things', which neither example come anywhere near to.

I must say that this quote...
If you disagree, just let it be known once and move on. Don't use it as an excuse for a cyber-brawl and get all fussy and obstreperous in the process.
...must be the greatest example of hypocrisy that I've ever seen.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
08-19-2009, 03:58 PM
You really have a boner for Ben pretty badly, don't you?

Out spewed the all too predictable verbal diarrhea, proving conclusively that you lied continually when you claimed that you were headed for other threads and intend to have as little to do with me as possible. You resorted to this insipid tactic on the Stride threads, stalking certain people around wherever they post and claiming, with risible futility, that you have somehow proved them wrong. In that instance, the victims concerned showed the good sense to ignore your nonsense, secure in the knowledge that theirs was the stronger argument. The act of ignoring you emboldened you, though, resulting in the delusion that simply attempting to wear the opponent out will result in victory.

It’s proved an unsuccessful strategy against me, though. If you write a long post in an attempt to exhaust me, I’ll just write a longer one. That is, if you didn’t have the sense to recognise that it would be better to agree to disagree. That’s what you need to do, and I’ll gladly oblige on the condition that you revise your failing debating strategy. It’s not that I like engaging in battles or fighting stamina, but they are clearly your preference, and frankly, I’m better at you in that format. If you’re looking for long drawn-out fights, pick on a weaker opponent. Pick on someone who’s likely to get worn out. Or, if it’s me that you’re obsessed with, try a better debating strategy or get someone with more credibility to take me on. Try to be succinct and less ponderous when you post – as a journalist, you really should be more clued up on the pitfalls of prolixity. Even your Toppy mates have dropped the hint time and time again that your “last word” mentality is only hindering the cause, but you never listen.

You’re not very good at the “all guns blazing” approach.

You referred to an incident where you pointed out that someone was wrong, in your view, and they ultimately revised your stance, but I’m curious – can you provide an example of an instance where you were wrong and revised your stance accordingly? You’re forever trying to paint yourself as the barometer of right and wrong, and acting as some self-appointed truth-guide, but when has the shoe been on the other foot? Well, I fondly recall the thread where you disagreed with me, in typically brash and filibustering fashion, that Fleming was a good ripper suspect. After a hefty round of cyber ping-pong, you did a radical about-turn and decided he was a likely ripper after all. I don’t remember any friendly concessions that I may have been right and you have been hastily dismissive of a reasonable suggestion.

“Maybe that has something to do with the fact that it is totally unsufficient to present expert corroboration of what is said when debating with you, since you simply shove such things aside.”

I most assuredly do not shove anything aside. I address “such things” in meticulous detail, and where I have a concern with the nature of the material, I’m more than at liberty to say so, outlining the nature of my concerns in equally meticulous detail. If you don’t like it, tough. Ignore me, put me on ignore, or “battle” with me, and if the last option entails verbosity and repetition then I’ll just riposte with even more verbosity and repetition, not because I covet either of those dubious qualities, but because I’m sick of your delusion that you can simply blitz-post an argument into perceived victory.

It never works for you – even your mates have told you.

Leander did provide radically contrasting stance – a fact on record. He specifically referred to dissimilarities that don’t concern amplitude in his first neutral post, but later stated that there were no differences other than those concerned with amplitude. That’s an irrefutable contradiction, and no amount of Leander-hassling will change that, nor will attempting to google your way out of the problem. Did Leander fob you off? I don’t know. All I know if that a) he contradicted himself, and b) you continued to hassle him many more times after expressing his intention not to elaborate further.

“people like me won´t let you get away with it?”

This is the pugnacious “battling” spirit than ensures that people like you sustain me, Fisherman. Firstly, just how badly do you want to patronise the intelligent readership of Casebook by insisting they can’t make their minds up for themselves – that they need your bombastic, ponderous narration to guide them through the light. Obviously, I’m immensely flattered by your fears that I can be so persuasive, but the stark reality is that if I wanted to get away with anything dodgy or nefarious, your blitzing and bombast would only help me to do so. You contribute to a pile of posting rubble, and given potentially interested parities a disincentive to get involved. That’s why people got bored of the Leander threads. Don’t you ever ask yourself why your fellow Toppyites keep encouraging you to chill out and go fishing?

Think about it.

“It rules out inherent physical changes within the writer, it rules out writing angles, length of the pen, intoxication, writing position and any other thing that could have had an impact - according to you.”

It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space. If he wanted to rule other things in, he could easily have stated that there were other things, different things, but by using the expression similar, he restricts the options to a fairly limited set of “things” that could not, inferentially, be described as many. What happened next is that you came up with your own terminology, wholly absent from Leander’s first post, which mysteriously appeared in some of his later emails – I say mysterious, because once of twice he even appeared to have appropriated your exact phrase. I’m not coming to any conclusion. I’m simply stating what occurred.

“On the way here, you have also discarded the verdict of Lund University, who adamantly recognized that "similar things" referred to all three variables precedingly listed. It applies universally, but not in this case - according to you.”

Nonsense. I’ve stated a number of times now that I agree, in general, with the view of the Lund expert, but no, it doesn’t apply “universally”. It applies it cases where the things being referred to as similar actually possess a similarity with eachother, as borne out by recent examples. Please don’t use silly expressions like “adamantly” when they never applied.

“The so called "battle" is over, Ben, whether you like it or not. You are the loneliest man on earth in this question, and that´s as it should be”

Has nobody had a quiet word in your ear yet about triumphalist rhetoric, and the extent to which is smacks of desperation? They really should, because it’s right up there with cyber-blitzkrieging and the classic “a number of people agree with me” when it comes to insipid and unsuccessful debating strategies. Comparing me to war criminals from WW2 isn’t particularly helpful to your cause either.

Your arrogant, in-your-face approach is irksome to the people you fixate upon on a disturbing daily basis, and an embarrassing liability to those on your side of the fence. But keep it up, because forever and always, I’m playing.

Fisherman
08-19-2009, 04:05 PM
Think Vic´s got it all condensed pretty nicely, Ben - maybe he has a boner for you too...?

Wait a sec! I just noticed that you are now saying that "it rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space." That is a little bit of progress, since you formerly claimed that "similar things" would only just refer to things similar to the function of the pen (you said before that the other things , age and space, were dissimilar to the function of the pen, and so you would only allow for things that were similar to that last parameter).
A slight change of mindset, I dare say!

...and what would you consider "similar" enough to these three parametres to be useful in this context? Would the leaning of the table do? Would the length of the pen do? And, taken together, would it amount to a verdict of "many" in your judgement??? Just curious here.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-19-2009, 04:12 PM
And along comes Victor to fan the flames again.

It looks like the argument is over. Ben agrees, if "don't disagree" can be take to mean agree, and you ignore the qualifier which makes the sentence the equivalent of "I don't disagree that black is black, as long as it's black" and that's as pedantic as you can get.

None of that made any sense whatsoever, I'm afraid. There's obviously some criticism of me in there somewhere, but it was all too ponderously phrased to merit much attention, and probably wasn't really worth Victor's while to make, especially if he's decided that the argument is over.

"A charging rhino, enemy fire, a stroke and similar things can result in death" does sound slightly strange, but that's because the ability that's affected (death) has been deliberately selected to get so broad that it's obviously going to have that effect

It's a simple illustration of the fact that dissimilar things can have the same result, and the fact that the shared result doesn't bestow any more shared similarity amongst those things. The pertinent observation would be that death can be caused by X, Y and Z along with many other different things. Not "similar", because they're not. It's wholly irrelevant whether that specific sentence is likely to be used. I could have used any number of sentences, objects and events to illustrate the point.

For the other example, the natural disasters one, I can see that croppping up, but rarely and that's getting away from the context, which I think is

Exactly. If you list a few natural disasters, the context becomes clear immediately, courtesy of their similarity, which isn't remotely true of age and "available space" which are eminently dissimilar, regardless of the fact that they can have a specific result of a specific entity.

Fisherman
08-19-2009, 04:19 PM
Ben:

"can you provide an example of an instance where you were wrong and revised your stance accordingly?"

Yep. Since we are dealing with the GSG on an adjacent thread, there´s a nice example for you - in an exchange I got it all wrong, number of lines, large and small letters - the works.
In another thread, I made a wrongful deduction about what could be learnt from how Eddowes was found and the blood under her. It was an embarrasing mistake, but it was corrected and I thanked the poster that did it for straightening me out.
There are other things too, but I don´t really think that I need to go over it all.
Oh, and I have made the obvious mistake to believe that you would accept an experts opinion over your own on at least two occasions. You have disproven me efficiently each time.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-19-2009, 04:21 PM
Think Vic´s got it all condensed pretty nicely, Ben - maybe he has a boner for you too...?

You could learn a great deal from that - condensing, but don't get jealous just because someone else wants to take me on. Must be the aftershave this week.

Wait a sec! I just noticed that you are now saying that "it rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space.

I said "and" available space, and unfortunately, the three mentioned explanations share no similarity with eachother, so your suggested "levels of anxiety" would be ruled out by the limitations imposed by Leander, who had the opportunity to use the far more encompassing "other things", or "different" things, which would have allowed for many more possibilities. No change of mindset there, Fisherman, but it's refreshing to see the triumphalist rhetoric churned out again for my ceaseless entertainment. Given the dissimilarity of the suggested explanations, I can only assume he meant "similar" to "function of the pen", despite the unconventional phrasology, as pointed out by the expert from Lund.

Form an orderly queue, budding battlers.

Fisherman
08-19-2009, 04:30 PM
Ben:

"I said "and" available space, and unfortunately, the three mentioned explanations share no similarity with eachother, so your suggested "levels of anxiety" would be ruled out by the limitations imposed by Leander, who had the opportunity to use the far more encompassing "other things", or "different" things, which would have allowed for many more possibilities. No change of mindset there, Fisherman, but it's refreshing to see the triumphalist rhetoric churned out again for my ceaseless entertainment. Given the dissimilarity of the suggested explanations, I can only assume he meant "similar" to "function of the pen", despite the unconventional phrasology, as pointed out by the expert from Lund."

What you said, Ben, was this: "It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space."

Does that mean that the object we are looking for must be similar to all three...? Although they share no similarity - according to you? Or does it mean that it should be similar to age and function of the pen - but not available space?

It´s a good thing we have you to help out. My bet is that many people would be slightly confused by your slithering here.

The best,
Fisherman
giving you a few hours rest

Ben
08-19-2009, 04:38 PM
"It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space."

Yes.

I said that, and meant it.

I would also add that anything that may be described as dissimilar to the last mentioned "explanation" ought really to be ruled out, considering that they have no similarity with eachother. If they were similar in isolation from the shared cause, as natural disasters are, it would make sense to add "and similar things". Not so in this case.

giving you a few hours rest

As my perpetual shadow, I'd be surprised if you could hold out for a whole hour.

Fisherman
08-19-2009, 08:49 PM
You quote yourself again, Ben, by saying:

"It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space."

...but, once more, you are straying. Let´s take a look at the first part of this "new deal" of yours:

""It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age..."

But that was not what you said before, was it? Earlier, you told us that since age was so distinctly dissimilar to the function of the pen, all things similar to age must be ruled out, since you believed that Leander only allowed for things similar to the function of the pen. Remember? No?

So how could we suddenly accept things similar to age? Or to age, function of the pen, and available space, for that matter - for that was what you suggested.

Or does this odd sentence imply that you only allow for thing similar to ALL THREE bits (since you wrote "and")?

Don´t you think that´s ... you know, kind of strange? What could be similar to all of these three things (if we disregard the obvious similarity that they affect the writing)?

And why would Leander say that only the three things mentioned, and something that was similar to all three (dissimilar) things would have caused the differences?

You sure you not got something very wrong here, Ben? Wanna go back to your original stance, that Leander only allowed for age, space afforded, function of the pen and things similar to the function of the pen?

Wanna explain to me why, for example, the quality of the paper or the leaning of the surface on which he wrote could not, in Leanders mind, have caused them differences?

Wanna stay on that barren island of yours much longer???

You´re quite an enigma, Ben, I´ll give you that!

The very best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-20-2009, 02:10 AM
Nothing like a semantic squabble with my favourite fillibustering Fishmeister.

But that was not what you said before, was it? Earlier, you told us that since age was so distinctly dissimilar to the function of the pen, all things similar to age must be ruled out, since you believed that Leander only allowed for things similar to the function of the pen. Remember?

I do remember.

And it's precisely the same as "what I said before". I observed that the sentence structure would rule out anything that would be considered dissimilar to age. I also observed that the very same sentence structure would also tend to rule out anything that may be regarded as similar too, since the inherent dissimilarity between age, function of the pen and available space would render the "and similar things" observation wholly inapplicable, unless he was speaking only of similar things to the last mentioned, which in this case was the "function of the pen". Unfortunately, there cannot realistically be "many" explanations that fit the bill in that regard.

No change of stance here, Fish, and thus no need for the latest bout triumphalist rhetoric, which is still an unsuccessful debating strategy.

Wanna stay on that barren island of yours much longer???

How can it be a "barren" island when I can command your undivided attention so quickly and easily, pissing on my perfectly good coconuts and starting unnecessary bonfires in an effort to hail passing ships in the night that have long since lost interest? It's really quite a nice island, and no doubt I'll be having fish for breakfast tomorrow.

Enigmatically,

Ben

Fisherman
08-20-2009, 09:20 AM
Since you enjoy it so much, Ben, I´ll walk you through that semantic jungle of yours again, explaining things as we go along.

"It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space."

That means that it rules out anything that could not be consider similar to age - whereas it rules IN anything that could be considered similar to age. It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to function of the pen - whereas it rules IN anything that could be considered similar to function of the pen, and it rules out anything that could not be considered similar to available space - whereas it rules IN anything that could be considered similar to available space.

The only alternative interpretation of it would be that it rules in ONLY things that are similar to all of the three things listed.

Of course, you have put a comma that does not belong there before the words "and available space", but since it is becoming increasingly clear that you are struggling with linguistic matters, let´s just drop that particular issue.

Have you ever pondered, Ben, how people who are not honest to their true beliefs have a way of tripping over semantical elements?
I have. Often. It is something that detectives use when they break down people they believe are not telling the truth - they rely on their feeling that the guy in front of them will slip up and step in it, sooner or later.
Sigmund Freud had a thing or two to say about such things to, which is why we today speak of Freudian slip-ups.

By the way, you have not yet answered my question about whether you really believe that Leander was of the impression that the only credible explanations to the changes would have lain in either space availabe, age of the writer, the function of the pen or things similar to the function of the pen.

Why do you think that he would have ruled out such a thing as the quality of the paper, that we all KNOW could have an impact on anybodys handstyle? Do you think that would be due to Leanders unability to understand his own game? Or could it be that you may have misinterpreted him? Now, please don´t try to avoid the question by saying that you have no idea how Leander works - let me know how you reason, Ben! How can one defend the stance that for example intoxication could not have been a reason for any of the changes? And is it your own wiew that the type of changes we are speaking about probably could only have been lead on by three or four factors? Do you yourself find it reasonable to suggest that the changes could ONLY have come about as a result of age, space available and function of the pen and things similar to function of the pen?

So, Ben, straightening the semantics out (or, for that matter, admitting that you slipped up, something that would be a lot easier, considering that it was precisely what happened) and answering my question is what lies ahead of you. Maybe some air and a leisurely walk on your beach will do the trick...?

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-20-2009, 12:26 PM
Fish for breakfast it was.

Oh, but this is depressing.

It's now 9:50 at time of writing and the above was posted over two hours ago. I'm not sure of the time difference in Sweden, but it seems as though I must have been a first priority upon waking. Thanks for the effort and the continued attention, but frankly, you're just not very good at explaining things. You're good at re-igniting old arguments in a blatant attempt to draw me into long drawn out posting "battles", but such is my apparent magnetism, I guess.

That means that it rules out anything that could not be consider similar to age - whereas it rules IN anything that could be considered similar to age.

No, it doesn't. That sentence of mine that you quoted doesn’t say anything about ruling anything in, so kindly refrain from telling me it did. It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, available space and function of the pen, but in this specific semantic scenario, where the three things referred to have no similarity with eachother, it would seem he meant “similar things” to function of the pen only, or else he was phrasing himself in a very confusing manner, not necessarily becoming of an expert. It first rules out anything that could not be considered similar to the three of them, but because they have no similarity with eachother, it seems he was referring to the last mentioned “explanation” when he spoke of “similar things”.

You haven’t found a hole in my argument, Fisherman. You just wasted your time, and obsessing over commas only makes you look desperate. You’ve now expressed your intention to “drop that particular issue”, but I just know you won’t follow through with it. I’d even place money on it.

“Have you ever pondered, Ben, how people who are not honest to their true beliefs have a way of tripping over semantical elements?”

Well, I’ve noticed the phenomenon, yes, since you ask. I suspected that it was occurring on the 1911 thread, which is why I raised the objections you found so distasteful. “Cannot be ruled out”, and all that. Hey, there’s an idea! Let’s dredge that all up again if dredging up long buried threads is your current fixation. I’d better prepare a few copy and pastes at the ready. What’s worse, though, is when obsessed people are so eager to score points that they pathetically imagine they’ve found a “slip-up” in their opponent’s arguments and go about “exposing” it in a confusing and incomprehensible manner.

“By the way, you have not yet answered my question about whether you really believe that Leander was of the impression that the only credible explanations to the changes would have lain in either space availabe, age of the writer, the function of the pen or things similar to the function of the pen.”

I’m working from the basis of what he actually said, and if what he said did not convey his true meaning, I’m afraid that’s his problem. The simpler explanation is that he said what he meant, and in this instance, it would follow that he did not consider that “quality of paper” of “intoxication” to have been reasonable explanations for the differences in this particular case. That’s not to say that intoxication or paper quality cannot have the effect of altering aspects of a person’s handwriting as a general rule, only that they did not appear to be valid explanations in this particular case.

Given the likely extent of Leander’s experience, I’d say he’s the best judge (at least better than you or I) of which “explanations” were likely to have come into play for this specific comparison.

“or, for that matter, admitting that you slipped up, something that would be a lot easier, considering that it was precisely what happened”

No, my infatuated follower, it did not.

Tell you what, why don't you respond with one of those rambling 60-liners that ensure that your central bullet-points are obscured by the rubble?

Make me feel important.

Fisherman
08-20-2009, 12:52 PM
Ben writes:

"That sentence of mine that you quoted doesn’t say anything about ruling anything in, so kindly refrain from telling me it did. It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, available space and function of the pen, but in this specific semantic scenario, where the three things referred to have no similarity with eachother, it would seem he meant “similar things” to function of the pen only, or else he was phrasing himself in a very confusing manner"

Did you not notice, Ben, that you wrote "function of the pen" in the middle of your phrase? Are we still to realize that you mean that Leander allowed for things similar to that parameter - but not to the ones you placed first and last?
Considering this, who are you to speak of expressing things in a confusing manner...???

You are once again wrong. Blatantly, obviously and unmistakably wrong. And still, you are unable to admit it. It´s a pathology of it´s very own.

"You haven’t found a hole in my argument, Fisherman."

I havent found an argument in your hole, Ben. Different thing.

"if what he said did not convey his true meaning, I’m afraid that’s his problem."

You´re the one with problems, Ben. Heaps of them.

"in this instance, it would follow that he did not consider that “quality of paper” of “intoxication” to have been reasonable explanations for the differences in this particular case. That’s not to say that intoxication or paper quality cannot have the effect of altering aspects of a person’s handwriting as a general rule, only that they did not appear to be valid explanations in this particular case"

...and your own stance on this would be...? For example, your, ehrm, "Toppyism" of the last letter making a counter-clockwise turn upwards - don´t you think such a thing could have been led on by a grain in the paper, making a straight line impossible. And don´t you think that Leander would have realized this too...?

"I’m working from the basis of what he actually said"

Nope. You, my friend, are working from the basis of never admitting that the overwhelming evidence, expertise and the collected knowledge of semantics and lingusitics all point you out as ridiculously wrong.

"Make me feel important."

You don´t need me for that, Ben. Or anybody else.

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-20-2009, 01:05 PM
Did you not notice, Ben, that you wrote "function of the pen" in the middle of your phrase? Are we still to realize that you mean that Leander allowed for things similar to that parameter - but not to the ones you placed first and last?

I realise that "function of the pen" appeared in middle of the phrase, yes. That's because the order wasn't relevant for the purposes of the point I was making at the time. It rules out anything that can't be considered similar to the three of them - that's our first restriction - but because they shared no similarity with eachother, he must have referred to the last mentioned "thing" only when he spoke of similar things.

You are once again wrong. Blatantly, obviously and unmistakably wrong.

You're fixated with trying to prove me so, and unsuccessfully at that, but then you have a fairly long history of this tactic after latching onto certain posters.

I havent found an argument in your hole, Ben. Different thing

Amazes me why or how you can, y'know, argue with me in that case. Think about it.

For example, your, ehrm, "Toppyism" of the last letter making a counter-clockwise turn upwards - don´t you think such a thing could have been led on by a grain in the paper, making a straight line impossible

Are you serious? Fish, we know for certain that the above cannot possibly be true. Toppy's skywards-pointing n-tail was present in every example of his handwriting that we know about, spanning a 13-year period. Are you saying there just happend to have been a grain in the paper in the same place that forced him to veer his n's upwards every time?

Or was this a slip-up on your part?

Either way, if this is the sort of thing you're resorting to in effort to procure that prized and cherished goal of "proving me wrong", you'll have to try harder.

Fisherman
08-20-2009, 01:22 PM
Ben:

"I realise that "function of the pen" appeared in middle of the phrase, yes. That's because the order wasn't relevant for the purposes of the point I was making at the time. It rules out anything that can't be considered similar to the three of them - that's our first restriction - but because they shared no similarity with eachother, he must have referred to the last mentioned "thing" only when he spoke of similar things."

The order was not relevant?? Impressive! So no matter what order you used, you would be right, regardless of the fact that you started out by writing "It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to..."?

Come on, Ben; real life does not work like that. All of us get things muddled up every once in a while (you should know), and that means that a simple "I got the internal order wrong, thereby conveying an impression that did not reflect my stance" would go a long way to clear things up. If one really wants to, that is.

"Are you serious? Fish, we know for certain that the above cannot possibly be true. Toppy's skywards-pointing n-tail was present in every example of his handwriting that we know about, spanning a 13-year period. Are you saying there just happend to have been a grain in the paper in the same place that forced him to veer his n's upwards every time?"

No. I am saying that such a thing would be an alternative explanation in an isolated case - just as there may be hundreds of other alternative explanations in other isolated cases, proving that Leander would be completely wrong in stating that only the three parameters he listed plus things similar to the last one could be responsible for the changes he saw. It is called conducting a theoretical discussion and it is often useful to elucidate matters. You may have noticed that I have spoken of intoxication and other things before, and that was not because we had an actual case of such a thing proven.

"if this is the sort of thing that you're resorting to in effort to procure that prized and cherished goal of "proving me wrong", you'll have to try harder."

Actually no; I already HAVE proven you wrong, Ben. That was an easy thing to do, as is often the case when somebody argues the way you try to do. The trouble in your case is that nobody seems to be able to make you realize/admit it. That´s why I spoke of a pathology of it´s own.

Right now, I have better things to do - but I will return, Ben. Of course!

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-20-2009, 01:37 PM
The order was not relevant?? Impressive! So no matter what order you used, you would be right, regardless of the fact that you started out by writing "It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to..."?

I don't know if you're deliberately trying to mislead or just confusing yourself now, but I've made myself perfectly clear. The order isn't immediately revelant for the general point I was making that if three suggested explanations share no obvious similarity with eachother then any "any similar things" reference appended to the end if the list must logically refer to the last one. The specific order was most emphatically not relevent for that general observation.

And a billion times more, if necessary. Naturally

No. I am saying that such a thing would be an alternative explanation in an isolated case

But it's not an isolated case. Leander would have known full well that such an explanation could not possibly have come into play in this case, given the nature of the material supplied, thus validating and bolstering my earlier observation: Given the likely extent of Leander’s experience, I’d say he’s the best judge (at least better than you or I) of which “explanations” were likely to have come into play for this specific comparison. Of course there may be "many" explanations for the differences in a hypothetical "isolated" case, but it's clear that Leander was able to narrow down the list of possibilies in this specific case.

Actually no; I already HAVE proven you wrong, Ben.

Well, that was the mantra you embarrassed yourself with on other threads, and with other people you followed around before they lost interest in communicating with you. Doesn't make it true. But ask yourself why you would relentlessly pursue someone who you insist will never change his mind, realise or admit anything?

Victor
08-20-2009, 02:03 PM
None of that made any sense whatsoever, I'm afraid. There's obviously some criticism of me in there somewhere, but it was all too ponderously phrased to merit much attention, and probably wasn't really worth Victor's while to make, especially if he's decided that the argument is over.

What don't you get Ben? I quoted you and then gave my interpretation of your words. As you're the only one who doesn't get it maybe I can explain it better for you, if you tell me which bit you don't understand.

The pertinent observation would be that death can be caused by X, Y and Z along with many other different things. Not "similar", because they're not. It's wholly irrelevant whether that specific sentence is likely to be used. I could have used any number of sentences, objects and events to illustrate the point.
No the pertinent observation is that you are literally and pedantically interpeting each word of a phrase, which is leading you into semantic gymnastics to defend what you've previously said, despite it's obvious inaccuracy.

Well that's it for me, this dead horse has been flogged enough...

KR,
Vic.

Ben
08-20-2009, 02:27 PM
despite it's obvious inaccuracy

Nothing inaccurate about it, Vic.

I've never heard of anyone describing something as "similar" to a list of things that don't have any similarity with eachother. Whenever "and similar things" is appended to a list, it is in reference to objects, events (etc) that share an obvious similarity with eachother. That way, it doesn't require any great stretch to conjur up a few other things that also share that similarity. In situations where the "things" haven't the slightest similarity, you list them and refer to "other" things, different things, diverse things. Not similar, because they're just not.

All the best,
Ben

Victor
08-21-2009, 02:02 AM
Nothing inaccurate about it, Vic.
Okay, add the qualifier "to everyone except Ben".

I've never heard of anyone describing something as "similar" to a list of things that don't have any similarity with eachother. Whenever "and similar things" is appended to a list, it is in reference to objects, events (etc) that share an obvious similarity with eachother.
Right, we're getting somewhere! You've never heard... that means that if the rest of us have, then you can see why we think as we do.

I'm not saying it's linguistically or grammatically perfect, it's not, and your interpretation is probably pedantically correct, just like double-negatives, but it's useless to interpret someone elses words at your high standards.

KR,
Vic.

The Good Michael
08-21-2009, 06:37 AM
Man: Honey, I'm going to go to the store to buy those things you wanted.
What an odd list. You have me purchasing milk, carrots, raspberry jam, and non-alcoholic beer!

Woman: Similarly, you have me buying some strange things at the stationery store: A stapler, corrugated cardboard, one pencil, and a bottle of pepsi from the vending machine.

Man: Wow! That is a strange coincidence that we would come up with similar, incongruous lists.

Woman: Can you add beef juice and arsenic to the list I gave you?

Man: Yes dear.

Fisherman
08-21-2009, 03:02 PM
"Jag avsåg de uppräknade anledningarna som representativa för några av flera tänkbara anledningar, dvs det var inte bara knutet till pennans funktion!

Med hälsning

Frank Leander"

That - of course - is Frank Leanders answer to the question that has been debated on this thread. In translation: "I saw the listed causes as being representative for some of many possible causes, that is to say it was not only tied to the function of the pen".

This time over, though, I will not make the mistake to say that this clears things up once and for all - instead I fully realize that this will not be enough for Ben to accept that this particular matter is settled. And since he (Ben) has recently been spending some substantial time on another thread putting words in my mouth, I thought I may just as well return this courtesy by offering a few suggestions, grounded on Bens earlier exploits, for cutting and pasting.

1. I can´t believe this! Fisherman has gone and harassed Leander for the umpteenth time!!! When will he understand that Leander hates his guts by now, and will say anything to get rid of him? (Of course, Frank Leander remains the same amiable man that he has been from the outset, and of course, there has never been any fobbing off, but instead a very helpful attitude throughout on Leanders behalf).

2. He did not say that from the outset! Clearly Leander has now once again changed his mind, making him even more unreliable than before! (As everybody but Ben knows, Frank Leander has never changed his stance, and it has from post number one been quite apparent to the rest of the world that he has come across as a very discerning man).

3. The fact that he keeps on confirming Fishermans stance, to the degree where he even uses the very same words, is EXTREMELY untrustworthy!!! (There are only so many words that can be used, of course, and anybody but our sad islander realized from the outset how this question would end up...)

4. What Frank Leander is saying here is clearly that he sees the dispute out on this thread as a "tie". That is why he uses the expression "tied" when speaking of the function of the pen - and that is why he uses that expression in connection with the very parameter that was the only one we may look for similarities to. (I, for one, would not be surprised...!)

5. So I was perhaps slightly wrong here - but the fact remains that I was linguistically right from the outset, and one must demand a clearer verdict from someone who aspires to professionalism in this respect. As it stands now, we shall never be able to say what Leander REALLY meant. I think we need to rule all of it out, from beginning to end. But for my own interpretation of post number one, that is!

Now, Ben - please, PLEASE, think before you write this time. Or just leave it. Don´t humiliate yourself any further. Put an end to the pantomime - the rest of us have. I have yet to see anybody else but you who subscribe to the things you have lowered yourself to in this thread. Nor do I think I will ever see anybody else do so, for very obvious reasons.

The best,
Fisherman

babybird67
08-21-2009, 05:41 PM
follow my example and become my disciples! You know it makes sense! ;)

Ben
08-23-2009, 06:50 PM
Right, we're getting somewhere! You've never heard... that means that if the rest of us have, then you can see why we think as we do.

Woah there, Vic, you just said that was "it" for you, and you had no intention of flogging this dead horse any further. Now you're back to flog it some more. I really don't know why I induce this behaviour so much in people.

You've never heard... that means that if the rest of us have, then you can see why we think as we do.

You've heard of people describing things as similar to several other things that have no similarity whatsoever with eachother? I find it curious that nobody has ever provided an example of that phenomenon. I mean, we've had Fisherman provide some inapplicable examples that only served to bolster my observations rather than his, i.e. that "and similar things" is almost universally appended to "things" that are similar already. And can you try to avoid this “the rest of us” “everyone else” confusion as though there were some huge chorus of posters enthusiastically championing your cause?

Fisherman,

Nobody has suggested that Leander has not been “amiable” or "helpful" in his attitude. The majority of individuals in possession of those qualities don’t automatically sacrifice them the moment they realize they’re dealing with a pathologically obsessed lunatic who delights to stalk certain people around message boards like a dog on heat, it’s just that some are more robust in their dealings with such people. I personally rather like the attention, especially when I can command it so easily, which is why I fall into the latter category.

Don´t humiliate yourself any further. Put an end to the pantomime - the rest of us have.

No you haven't, Fisherman. I will make sure of that. I will take up most of whatever you may have left of mental energy tomorrow. That’s the pet and owner relationship we have.

You've bombarded the hassled Leander for the 8th time now, and that's after he expressed his fervent wish (in response to bombardment #3!) not to be asked to elaborate any further based on the flawed nature of the material supplied to him, and once again, he's appeased a nuisance. Here's the stinkingly obvious hint for anyone who didn’t pick up on the subtle nuance: notice the brevity of Leander’s reply in contrast to his first post. If you remember correctly, you’ve already depicted me as the villain, so I ask you, what other response could you possibly have expected when you waded in with what could only have amounted to: “That nasty so-called ripperologist who accused you of lying has now interpreted your words as follows. Do you agree with him?”

Anyway, let’s see if Leander’s latest really contradicts anything I’ve said:

From the previous page: It rules out anything that could not be considered similar to age, available space and function of the pen, but in this specific semantic scenario, where the three things referred to have no similarity with eachother, it would seem he meant “similar things” to function of the pen only, or else he was phrasing himself in a very confusing manner, not necessarily becoming of an expert.

That’s not a contradiction. It’s just a reinforcement that one of my “either/or” options was the correct one - the latter in this case.

“As everybody but Ben knows, Frank Leander has never changed his stance”

Oh, I do love the “everybody”.

The whole “lots of imaginary people are all queuing up to agree with my brilliance” is just another extension of the triumphalist rhetoric approach, which I’ve told you before is an insipid and demonstrably unsuccessful debating strategy. As a journalist, someone really should have clued you in on that before. Same with the fallacy that “Ha, if anyone agreed with you, they would have contributed to the thread!”. You just need to grow out of these things. Frank Leander did change his stance. That is an irrefutable fact. Here we go again (and a billion more times if necessary):

He specifically referred to dissimilarities that don’t concern amplitude in his first neutral post, but later stated that there were no differences other than those concerned with amplitude. That’s an irrefutable contradiction, and no amount of Leander-hassling will change that, nor will attempting to google your way out of the problem. Did Leander fob you off? I don’t know. All I know if that a) he contradicted himself, and b) you continued to hassle him many more times after expressing his intention not to elaborate further.

I demand a nice long meaty blitz-post from you tomorrow, Fish, and I want it bright and early, first thing. Then I’ll do a longer one. It’ll amuse me.

“Man: Wow! That is a strange coincidence that we would come up with similar, incongruous lists.”

But they didn’t, Mike.

They came up with dissimilar incongruous lists.

See the difference?

Fisherman
08-24-2009, 11:47 AM
Ben chooses option 1:

"You've bombarded the hassled Leander for the 8th time now, and that's after he expressed his fervent wish (in response to bombardment #3!) not to be asked to elaborate any further based on the flawed nature of the material supplied to him, and once again, he's appeased a nuisance."

...in combination with some linguistic acrobatics, aimed to hint at Leander expressing himself in a "confusing" manner.

But just like I have written at numerous occasions, Leander is not the type of guy who fobs people off. Instead he helps out in a very courteous and friendly manner, to Bens increasingly amusing dismay and desperation. And just like Vic points out, Ben seems to be the only person around who is confused by Leander. Everybody (yes, Ben, "everybody") else seem perfectly fit to comprehend.

Bens goal with this pantomime of his is, of course, to try and hinder ANY material or evidence that goes to disprove his own suggestion that Hutchinson was in fact an imposter of a murdeous mind, preferably Joe Fleming in disguise. In order not to have this obvious misconception taken away from him, he is ready to go to any lengths, including trying to convince us that his own expertise surpasses that of Frank Leanders and that his own grip of the language cannot be challenged, not even by the linguistic department of the University of Lund! Some guy, our Ben!

"I demand a nice long meaty blitz-post from you tomorrow, Fish, and I want it bright and early, first thing. Then I’ll do a longer one. It’ll amuse me."

Hope this will do, Ben, though it is not so long and meaty - there are only so many ways one can say "baloney"... But you are correct on the amusement factor - I can hear the laughs very clearly!

Now, Ben; I have done what I can in this thread; I have pointed out the Swiss cheese multitude of holes in your reasoning, I have had corroboration of the fact that the linguistic bit we were dealing with as a rule involves all the bits listed when somebody writes "and similar things", we have had Vic telling you that your "never having heard" of these things adds up to what YOU never have heard, wheras EVERYBODY else seem to effortlessly understand, and I have rounded off by having Leander confirm that WHATEVER significance your ramblings may or may not have had from the start, the FACT remains that Leander throughout meant that MANY reasons may have lain behind the alterations inbetween the police report signature he saw and the 1898 and 1911 Toppy signatures.
This thread that would never have been created, had it not been for your misconception in combination with your total unability to accept that everybody else but you understood what Leander meant - and has now confirmed. And is that not the best of ways to end it: By pointing out that the answer to the question posed in the name of it - When does many become many? - is: "Now that we have had confirmation from Leander himself!"

I understand, Ben, that you will go on "fighting" and that your "stamina" will suffice to make the Thirty-year war of the 17:th century fade into oblivion. But since it would be a very strange thing to do, to quibble over what Leander meant now that he has told us, I think that is a "battle" you will have to sort out yourself. And I have little doubt that you will state that you known all along what Leander meant, whereas he has never himself been able to get a grip on it. But why would I - and everybody else - mind? It is an indecency and intellectually corrupt, of course, and the boards could have done without it - but it has the merit of perpetually pointing your dedications in Ripperology out for what they are.

Bye, bye for this time, Ben!

Fisherman

Ben
08-24-2009, 12:56 PM
“...in combination with some linguistic acrobatics, aimed to hint at Leander expressing himself in a "confusing" manner.”

Well, it could just as easily have been your poor translation for all I know. All I know is that the sentence, as translated by you, cannot possibly be used as a synonym of “many” and that it makes no sense whatsoever no provide a list of wholly dissimilar things before appending “and similar things” to the end of that list. Generally speaking, there has not been a single observation I’ve made that has not been vindicated in this pointless semantic battle that you decided to dredge up out of nowhere. I observed that the sentence was either intended to mean similar only to the function of the pen (i.e. that his sentence made sense) or that it didn’t make sense and the word “similar” was used in the wrong context. That observation has proved accurate, and no, the expert from Lund didn’t contradict anything I’ve said either.

“But just like I have written at numerous occasions, Leander is not the type of guy who fobs people off. Instead he helps out in a very courteous and friendly manner”

…Which is why it was so unfortunate that you took such crass advantage of those two very qualities that you purport to admire. When he expressed his friendly and courteous wish not be asked to elaborate further given the flawed nature of the material supplied, you completely ignored it and bombarded him five more times anyway in pursuit of clarification. When you resort to this tactic, and make it obvious time and time again which answer you wanted him to provide, you become a fob-off waiting to happen. You nailed your biased colours to the mast, and the man's contributions became progressively more Toppy-endorsing.

“In order not to have this obvious misconception taken away from him, he is ready to go to any lengths…”

Again with the delusions and the triumphalist rhetoric. Even if Leander shouted from the rooftops that Toppy was the witness, the weight of expertise would still favour the non-match, given that Iremonger was dealing the actual documents and all three statement signatures. But please give me any excuse to discuss this all over again.

“Everybody (yes, Ben, "everybody") else seem perfectly fit to comprehend.”

But when you make statements like these that cannot possibly be true, I just know for certain that you’re lying, so what was the point? You’re assuming that everybody decided to visit this thread, let alone read it all in meticulous detail, and of those who read it but decided not to get involved in another round of Fish-generated cyber ping-pong, you cannot possibly know whose argument they favoured. Don’t make it obvious that you’re looking to score points, because crass exaggerations give the game away big time in that regard. You need to know when to change gears.

This thread that would never have been created, had it not been for your misconception in combination with your total unability to accept that everybody else but you understood what Leander meant

Wrong. If you remember correctly, this thread would never have been created if you hadn't copied and pasted from a discussion that was buried months ago. It was most assuredly you who decided to churn out the "many/similar" semantic silliness.

“I have had corroboration of the fact that the linguistic bit we were dealing with as a rule involves all the bits listed when somebody writes "and similar things"

Generally speaking, that’s absolutely correct, and I’ve never disputed as much. An obvious and glaring exception would be if the “bits listed” had no similarity whatsoever with eachother, because in that event, “and similar things” would cease to become applicable. It turns out that he supposedly “meant” the opposite, which was that many different things could have an effect. Slightly baffling then, then he didn’t say what he meant, or anything remotely like it first time around, unless he changed his mind or subsequently upgraded to placate the pesterer with the biased stance.

“Bye, bye for this time, Ben!”

Oh, I think we both know that’s a big fat lie, Fisherman.

Back you come.

Victor
08-24-2009, 08:34 PM
Woah there, Vic, you just said that was "it" for you, and you had no intention of flogging this dead horse any further. Now you're back to flog it some more. I really don't know why I induce this behaviour so much in people.
Hi Ben,
You directly contradicted something I said, prompting me to comment.

You've heard of people describing things as similar to several other things that have no similarity whatsoever with eachother?
Yes, usually in the context of qualifiers typically of the form Factors that affect {something} are X, Y, Z and similar [things].

i.e. that "and similar things" is almost universally appended to "things" that are similar already.
Swap "almost universally" for "typically" or "usually" then you're there. Even your "almost" leaves room for the alternate. And then the similarities are predominantly that they cause the effect being examined.

And can you try to avoid this “the rest of us” “everyone else” confusion as though there were some huge chorus of posters enthusiastically championing your cause?
Well you are a lone voice, so "the rest of us" is correct, until someone states that they agree with you.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
08-25-2009, 02:32 AM
Hi Vic,

You directly contradicted something I said, prompting me to comment.

But that's bound to happen in discourse of this nature. I disagree with you, as you must have anticipated. In future, I really wouldn't bother anouncing your depature from a thread if you know full well that you won't be able to resist responding to any counter-disagreement.

Yes, usually in the context of qualifiers typically of the form Factors that affect {something} are X, Y, Z and similar [things]

But X, Y and Z would need to have an inherent similarity with eachother already if "and similar things" is to be appended to the end of them, otherwise you're left with a meaningless sentence.

Well you are a lone voice, so "the rest of us" is correct

Vic, I can absolutely guarantee you that the vast majority of casebookers know better than to concern themselves with tedious, point-scoring semantic debates such as these. Of those who do skim through them out of casual boredom, the majority don't post their views.

Victor
08-25-2009, 10:04 AM
But that's bound to happen in discourse of this nature. I disagree with you, as you must have anticipated. In future, I really wouldn't bother anouncing your depature from a thread if you know full well that you won't be able to resist responding to any counter-disagreement.
Hi Ben,
True, I was a tad presumptious, but it's not a crime.

But X, Y and Z would need to have an inherent similarity with eachother already if "and similar things" is to be appended to the end of them, otherwise you're left with a meaningless sentence.
No, absolutely wrong. And you have no basis for telling me what I have or have not heard or read before, I understood the sentence as given, even if semantically it was pedantically incorrect.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
08-26-2009, 02:04 AM
even if semantically it was pedantically incorrect.

Exactly, Vic, so if I was "pedantically" correct to address the shortcomings of a syntactically incorrect and confusing sentence, I can't also be "absolutely wrong" to draw attention to it. I don't think I was telling you what you had or hadn't heard so much as expressing surprise that you'd encountered anything similiar (!) before.

Fisherman
08-26-2009, 09:06 AM
Ben writes:

"...if I was "pedantically" correct to address the shortcomings of a syntactically incorrect and confusing sentence..."

The sentence was never syntactically incorrect, Ben. We learnt as much from Marit Julien at Lund University. Syntactically incorrect sentences are sentences were the words are joint together in a faulty manner, and this is not the case here at any rate. There is no such "confusion" about.

What you complaint about is the use of the word "similar", and that is another thing altogether. We should also keep in mind two things in that context: Vic tells us that he had no problems at all recognizing that the elements Leander listed were similar to each other IN THE RESPECT THAT THEY ALL COULD CAUSE HANDSTYLE CHANGES, and therefore, he had no problems at all understanding the sentence. The same applies for me and for Sam and Mike, as you know.
Moreover, we have had corroboration from Leander that this was exactly what he meant from the outset.

Therefore, we are left with you pointing out that the elements named by Leander are not similar in the respect that they look like each other, and that you would have preferred if he had chosen the word "other" instead of similar. You are entitled to that desire, Ben. And, just as I have pointed out to you before, when somebody speaks of "earthquakes, volcano eruptions, floodings and similar things", I would be equally entitled to claim that "other" would have been a better choice of word, since these elements have the exact same internal relationship as did Leanders elements - on the surface, they are quite unalike, but they have a built-in quality to unite them.

Now, Ben, that we have all bowed to your wisdom and insights, it is perhaps time to realize that what Vic and I have been telling you is that we both AUTOMATICALLY read Leanders words in the fashion I suggested from the outset, none of us even reflecting over the fact that the elements joined together by their inherent common factor of being able to affect handwriting were actually not "similar" in an overall fashion.
We simply took it for given that the built-in similarity of being able to affect handwriting was what Leander used to tie them together. The rest of those who have offered a wiew on this thread, but for you, obviously did the exact same thing.

It does not make for any statistical overwhelming material to conclude from, but if we put me, Vic, Mike and Sam on the one side and you on the other, it does imply that there may be some sort of possibility that you were wrong. I think you will have to admit that.

And what can we do if we have differing opinions? Well, in this case, we can ask Leander himself what HE meant with his sentence. Though it was perfectly clear to the four of us, it is only fair that you have your differing opinion taken to the protocol and respected, and that you get an answer. That answer was that Leander used the word "similar" not to point to any overall similarity, but instead to point to all the things that shared the similarity of being able to affect the handwriting.

Now, I know full well that you want me to stay away from this discussion, and I have at numerous occasions thought that I would be able to do so, since I think I have proven my case over and over again. You have not shared this sentiment, though, as we both know.

This time over, I felt I had to react when you mystically tried to point Leanders sentence out as "syntactically incorrect". Wherever did you get that from? We have had differing opinions about the usefulness of the word "similar", nothing else.

I will round off by asking you a few questions, Ben. You are free to criticize all of the things I have said in this post. You are free to revel in the fact that you were right; I could not stay away from the thread - your claim of "syntactical" failure ensured that. You are even free to try and prove Leanders sentence "syntactically" wrong, if you wish to. But do not forget to provide me with a simple answer to these questions:

Now that we have had Leander telling us that he meant that "similar things" meant to point out things that shared the inherent similarity of being able to affect the handwriting, and not only things similar to "the function of the pen - are you ready to accept that this was what he really meant from the outset, although a case can be made for the elements involved not being "similar" in other respects?

Can we move on, accepting that function of the pen, writing space afforded and age of the writer, although not being similar on the surface, actually share one common factor - that of affecting handwriting, and that this shared similarity was what Leander referred to in his sentence, something I, Vic, Mike and Sam readily accepted without questioning?

Can we work from the stance that we all accept that Leander - in spite of what you saw as a lingustic shortcoming - in fact meant that there could have been many possible reasons for the changes in handstyle inbetween the police report signature and the 1898 wedding signature/the 1911 census signatures?

Or are you still claiming, in spite of the fact that you know that four out of the five participators (you, me, Vic, Sam and Mike) at once recognized that Leander meant that there were many possible reasons for the changes, and in spite of the fact that we have Leander confirming this wiew in his latest post, that this is not enough to settle the argument?

The best,
Fisherman
trying again: Bye, bye! Please..?

Ben
08-26-2009, 02:12 PM
And back he came!

Once again, you were completely dishonest about leaving the thread, and once again I predicted it. I honestly don’t know if you’re trying your hand at self-parody now, but either way it’s clear I’m absolutely irresistible to you, and it’s starting to look deeply disturbing. It’s as though we’re in one of your Stride threads all over again. But let’s get you deeply involved and entrenched again with a longer post even than yours. It’s fun, not because it’s my preferred debating strategy, but because you think that excessive verbosity and unnecessary repetitive narration will win the day, and it never, ever will.

“Syntactically incorrect sentences are sentences were the words are joint together in a faulty manner”

And in this instance, the words were most assuredly joined together in a faulty manner, culminating in a sentence that terminated with “and similar things” despite the “things” cited having no similarity with eachother. So we’re left with a meaningless sentence. If he had stated the opposite at the end of his list, i.e. “and other things”, “and many different things” etc, we’ve have an acceptable sentence becoming of an expert. It would also vindicate Marit Julien’s observations, though I should note that she never once claimed to be an expert barometer of similarity, to her eternal credit, of course.

It is only permissible to include “and similar things” if the things in question share a similarity with eachother that is entirely divorced from their influence they just happen to all exert on a specific entity, as we discovered from your examples. The natural disasters listed all share that independent similarity, and any claim to the contrary smacks of obvious desperation. If someone listed a set of natural disasters, you’d spot the theme instantly without having to be told what it is, and you would also be able to provide another example of a natural disaster (a similar thing) without having to give it much thought. Similar is an irrefutably better word than “other” in that case. Not so for age, pen function and available space. Just like rhinos, the Eifel Tower and a meteor, they are not only not “similar things” to eachother, they are incredibly dissimilar, so if I wished to list them all as potentially contributory factors to one’s death, I might list them and many other different things. If I use the word "similar" instead, I'd be saying the opposite of what I actually mean.

It's a simple illustration of the fact that dissimilar things can have the same result, and the fact that the shared result doesn't bestow any more shared similarity amongst those things. The pertinent observation would be that death can be caused by X, Y and Z along with many other different things. We’ve thrashed this all out before, and once again, you think that the “fight fire with fire” repetitive approach is a sensible one.

Given the dissimilarity of the items Leander listed, I assumed he could only have meant similar to the function of the pen, and in doing so, I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, because while this would amount to unconventional phraseology, it’s far better than what he’s now claiming he “meant”.

“It does not make for any statistical overwhelming material to conclude from, but if we put me, Vic, Mike and Sam on the one side and you on the other”

Can we please avoid the tedious and immature fallacy that X, Y and Z agrees with me, so that increases the chances of me being right? It’s exceptionally gauche and short-sighted if you think about it. The people you listed all agree with your Toppy stance, and yet we know full well that others agree with my opposing stance, it’s just that most people have neither the time nor the inclination to do battle in a tedious semantic thread that advances nothing in the grander scheme of things, except perhaps a few undeserved egos. Occasionally your bombastic approach can be a bit of a liability for Team Toppy which is why a few of them reluctantly wade in from time to time, but that’s no excuse to keep naming them and claiming they all somehow “gang up” against my view. That’s just silly.

For the record, I find nothing impressive about your ability to somehow “guess” what Leander meant despite his actual words reflecting the very opposite. I found the regularity with which it happened extremely baffling, as you know, especially as the meanings you read into them and the phrases you used would later appear in Leander’s reluctant clarifications, but we’ve been through this all before, and I will never, ever revise my stance, just as I will never ever revise my stance that Leander both revised his stance and used a syntactically incorrect sentence, because he most assuredly did both.

So you’ve got a couple of options with the above in mind. We either behave like adults, resign ourselves to our contrasting views, and move on, or you continue to bluster away, and the latter is not a format in which you've ever been successful.

“are you ready to accept that this was what he really meant from the outset, although a case can be made for the elements involved not being "similar" in other respects?”

I honestly can’t say. If that really was what he meant, I take an exceptionally dim view quite frankly, because what he actually said didn’t convey any such meaning. Of course, hypothetically and strictly speaking, many possible explanations could account for the differences, but since “piece of masonry falling on the page at the church on wedding day” would fall into that category, it’s a rather pointless observation to make.

“trying again: Bye, bye! Please..?”

Are you serious? Do I really have that much power over you that you need me to dictate your internet activity? If “bye bye” reflects your true feelings on the subject, have the fortitude to either stick with it or simply avoid the “bye bye” altogether if you really are too weak to resist.

Fisherman
08-26-2009, 03:05 PM
Ben:

"Once again, you were completely dishonest about leaving the thread"

Let´s get one thing very, very clear, Ben - whenever you add things to a thread that are not true and that go to weaken my argument in an unfair manner, rest assured that I feel very much at liberty to comment on them. I did not leave the thread in order to give you the space to freely insinuate, tamper with the truth or outright lie, I did it because I had proven my point.

Now, I will brighten up your day by being very short:

"in this instance, the words were most assuredly joined together in a faulty manner, culminating in a sentence that terminated with “and similar things” despite the “things” cited having no similarity with eachother"

And that has NOTHING to do with a syntactical error, as I have already pointed out. A syntactically incorrect sentence looks like this, for example: Ben totally was wrong the outset from. THAT is a syntactically faulty sentence, since the flow of the language is tampered with. When the language flows according to the rules, there is no syntactical fault about.
But of course, since you will never admit when you are wrong, we may need to contact Marit Julien again, to once again point out that you do not know what you are talking about. Then again, she may well "fob me off", since I would be repeatedly pestering her, may she not? That is how your logic works, my honest friend, is it not?

"I honestly can’t say. If that really was what he meant, I take an exceptionally dim view quite frankly, because what he actually said didn’t convey any such meaning."

It did not convey such a meaning TO YOU, that is. Exclusively, as far as we know. To me, to Vic, to Sam and to Mike - the only other posters that have commented on the issue! - he conveyed EXACTLY that meaning! Therefore, I humbly suggest that the only dim character around would be the guy who cannot see the relevance in this, and who did not even catch on when Leander HIMSELF asserted that yes, of course that was what he had meant.

Don´t you realize, Ben, that you are saying that we cannot be sure what Leander meant for the simple reason that you yourself could not get it through your skull? Don´t you understand that it means NOTHING, NADA, NIENTE, RIEN DU TOUT what you thought you perceived WHEN LEANDER HIMSELF TELLS YOU THAT YOU WERE WRONG?

You honestly can´t say? You HONESTLY can´t say? What would it take for you to "honestly" be able to say that Leander meant "many", Ben? What? Fortyfive more linguistic experts? Thirtyeight more assertions from Leander that he did mean what he says he meant and what the rest of us on the thread immediately realized that he meant with no effort at all? A hundred and seventyseven more examples where "similar" are used in listings of things that are only similar in the respect that they have an inherent common factor? What?

Fisherman
Bye-bye? It´s high time, Ben...!

Ben
08-26-2009, 03:38 PM
You think it's not true.

I think it's completely true.

So where to go from here? More "Yes it is", "No it isn't"? 600 more pages?

If Leander meant what you're now claiming he meant, then his sentence was a confusing one, and since the structure of sentences is directly allied to the meaning of the words included therein, then we're dealing with a syntactically flawed sentence that failed to convey its true meaning. That's an indisputable, inescapable fact as far as I'm concerned, and it is why I will never revise that stance. So you would be wasting your time and energy if you did anything other than take the lead in agreeing to disagree, especially if you’re claiming that I won’t admit that I’m wrong. I'm sure you will continue to pester these sources in your typically brash, in-your-face manner, and you'll probably be rude enough to ignore any subsequent requests from those sources not to be asked to elaborate further as Leander did.

And all for the sake of scoring those unwinnable points in a silly little semantic debate about nothing.

It did not convey such a meaning TO YOU, that is. Exclusively, as far as we know. To me, to Vic, to Sam and to Mike - the only other posters that have commented on the issue!

Oh good, we’re returning to that amusingly fallacious strategy of listing people who agree with you as though it increases the likelihood of them being right. They’ve contributed most probably because you need their help. That’s why you’re encouraged to reel things in and take a break fairly often, and that’s why they take it upon themselves to do the clarifying and condensing that eludes you. They don’t want an embarrassing fight-picking liability like you damaging a cause they subscribe to, and I can hardly blame them. But don’t keep listing other people as though you're representative of some big to-be-taken-seriously army.

“Don´t you understand that it means NOTHING, NADA, NIENTE, RIEN DU TOUT what you thought you perceived WHEN LEANDER HIMSELF TELLS YOU THAT YOU WERE WRONG?”

Wrong about what? I realize that’s your favourite word, and that you obsessively follow me around the message board in a futile attempt to claim I’m “wrong”, but you’re not making yourself clear here. Are we to embrace the faintly ludicrous “How dare you not realize that when I said that, I secretly meant the opposite?” and use that as evidence of my alleged wrongness? I observed many posts ago that Leander either meant similar to the last mentioned (i.e. pen function) or he didn’t convey his true meaning. Turned out I was right.

“Bye-bye? It´s high time, Ben...!”

Right, so either stop lying about your swan-song-like intentions to leave a thread and have the balls to stick to those guns or have the maturity and commonsense to resign yourself to a stalemate and stop pursuing me all over the place.

Fisherman
08-26-2009, 03:48 PM
Ben again, unable to admit that he does not know what syntax is about:

"If Leander meant what you're now claiming he meant, then his sentence was a confusing one, and since the structure of sentences are directly allied to the meaning of the words included therein, then we're dealing with a syntactically flawed sentence that failed to convey its true meaning."

1. His sentence (allegedly) confused one reader - you. The rest are as unconfused as ever.

2. Syntactical errors remain errors where the flow of the language is obstructed. And Leanders sentence flows eminently. There is no syntactical error even CLOSE to it. Which word is malplaced, and should have had an other position? Pray tell me, master!

3. It did NOT fail to convey it´s true meaning - but I am glad you realize that there is a true meaning about, as opposed to your "truth". It conveyed EXACTLY what Leander told us it was meant to convey to all those who have commented on it but you, remember?

"I observed many posts ago that Leander either meant similar to the last mentioned (i.e. pen function) or he didn’t convey his true meaning."

...and the rest of us involved observed that you were wrong, and we have had it corroborated. Eiffel tower, anybody?

By the way, a further linguistic errand: A stalemate is when there are two equal sides in a conflict. It is not when the loneliest islander in the world has problems understanding why nobody will join him on the beach.

Fisherman
Bye? Yes? Yes?

Ben
08-26-2009, 03:59 PM
1. His sentence (allegedly) confused one reader - you. The rest are as unconfused as ever.

You don't provide a list of dissimilar things, and then add "and similar things" afterwards if you want to make your intended meaning clear, especially when purporting any type of expertise. If he meant that there were many other different reasons, he should have said so. He "meant" the opposite of what he actually said, in essence. Even Vic was circumspect enough to acknowledge that I was "pedantically correct" on that score.

Which word is malplaced, and should have had an other position? Pray tell me, master!

The word "similar", because it was "malplaced" to give the erroneous impression that all the aforementioned "things" were similar to eachother.

It conveyed EXACTLY what Leander told us it was meant to convey to all those who have commented on it but you, remember?

Factually incorrect, and again, conjuring up a perceived army of Fish-followes only makes you look desperate, as your journalistic studies should have informed you long ago.

It is not when the loneliest islander in the world has problems understanding why nobody will join him on the beach.

Nobody will join him? How about the tiresome little crab who keeps scuttling out of the rockpools to nip at my heels?

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 09:32 AM
Right then, let´s begin by clearing your misconception about syntactical errors up once and for all!

The word syntax is derived from the Greek word "synta´sso", meaning "join together". Syntax is by definition, and I quote from the Swedish National Encyclopedia: "The part of grammar that deals with how words or their inflected forms are joint to groups of word and sentences."

What you rave on about, Ben, is that you think that one of the words - similar - carries the wrong meaning. That has nothing to do with syntax. I can say "African Americans are generally white", and that would form a syntactically perfect sentence. Factually, though, it would be wrong, since they are generally black. But that does not mean that the word "white" was used in the wrong space.
Therefore, when you say "The word "similar" ... was "malplaced" to give the erroneous impression that all the aforementioned "things" were similar to eachother", you are not touching on any syntactical error, but instead what you mistakenly believe to be a factual error. Putting it differently, factual errors are at hand when you use the wrong word in the right space, whereas syntactical errors come about by using the right word in the wrong space.
Rounding it off, I spoke to our lady Julien at the University over the phone, and her verdict about Leanders sentence was that it was, and I once again quote, "syntactically flawless". When I asked her what would happen if the word "similar" was a term that did not apply, she said "but that has nothing to do with any syntactical error". End of story.

To me, this very point has been immensely useful. In this case, there can be no "interpretations" as to whether any syntatic error has occurred or not, since we are dealing with absolute factualities. In that context, it is very interesting to observe your total inability to admit that you stand corrected! You have been given the choice of quickly admitting that you were wrong, or simply denying it - and choosing the latter alternative is simply moronic. There can be no other term for it.
It can be proven - and has been so - that you were wrong; there never was any syntactic error.

What does this do for you? I will tell you what it does: It once again points out your total and utter inability to admit being wrong, and as such it colours ALL of your judgement. It reinforces what Stephen said on the 1911 thread: "The man´s a genius - he cannot be wrong". If you think that was a sign of high esteem, let me inform you that it was a sarcasm. Obviously, he had been through the same sort of pantomime as you have tried to subject me to. The result of that should be obvious by now.

Now that we´ve established that we are dealing with a man who does not even know his grammar, and who is unable to admit mistakes - both traits being distinctly unflattering to anybody who claims to do honest research - let´s move on!

"You don't provide a list of dissimilar things, and then add "and similar things" afterwards if you want to make your intended meaning clear, especially when purporting any type of expertise."

...unless you are presenting a list of things with an inherent common factor, such as writing space afforded, function of the pen and the writers age, all with the common denominator of being able to affect handwriting, or, for that matter, earthquakes, floodings and forest fires, all with the common denominator of being natural disasters.
Both groupings represent the exact same thing: A dissimilarity on the surface, but a common factor within them. Therefore, there is no factual error about in Leanders sentence - the common factor of affecting handwriting was the element he used to tie things together. And just as we are allowed to speak of earthquakes, floodings, forest fires and similar things, owing to the inherent common factor, so we are allowed to do the same thing about the writers age, writing space afforded and function of the pen and similar things.
Just like the leaning of the table is dissimilar to the function of the pen and the writers age on the surface of things, so is a volcano eruption to a flooding or a forest fire. As long as we have a common denominator, though, and as long as the discussion and/or context revolves around a topic that makes it clear which common denominator we are using, we are on dry land.

Therefore, from beginning to end, you are off the mark. And speaking about "syntactical errors" only goes to reinforce that - it was a blatant mistake or an equally blatant lie. If we were to let such things through, it would implicate Frank Leander as a man who could not even join an understandable sentence together, and that would of course suit you just fine.
The trouble about it is that it has never had any anchoring in real life - just like your other antics have no such thing in this errand. Thank you for pointing us all in that direction with your "syntactical error" example. It has been most illuminating.

"Nobody will join him? How about the tiresome little crab who keeps scuttling out of the rockpools to nip at my heels?"

A crab? You need to be careful with that, Ben; crabs are scavengers - they feast on fallen people. When they are done, the only thing left to fade in the merciless sunshine is the bare skeleton. Nasty little buggers, they are...

The best,
Fisherman
Off we go? Bye-bye? Yes?

Victor
08-27-2009, 12:31 PM
If he meant that there were many other different reasons, he should have said so. He "meant" the opposite of what he actually said, in essence. Even Vic was circumspect enough to acknowledge that I was "pedantically correct" on that score.

Hi Ben,

"Pedantically correct" or only correct if you are pedantic enough to enforce it. Sensible people use logic and don't enforce those draconian, outmoded, excessively strict rules any longer.

KR,
Vic.

Ben
08-27-2009, 01:43 PM
Y’know, I clung to the hope that you were just a pitifully infatuated, bumptious, strutting baboon with a fixation for certain members of Casebook. I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t rather more sinister, if not potentially dangerous than that now. I mean, you did get one of your children to pose as the defiled corpse of Mary Kelly which you then photographed and posted on the website in an effort to score those desperately cherished points over me, so I can’t help but wonder.

“Syntax is by definition, and I quote from the Swedish National Encyclopedia”

Oh, I think we’ve spent far too long listening to Swedes, and their flagrant torturing of my language. Let’s listen instead to Wikipedia: “In linguistics, syntax (from Ancient Greek συν- syn-, "together", and τάξις táxis, "arrangement") is the study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in natural languages.”

Or we can go straight to the dictionary: “the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.”

In this case, the sentence was syntactically incorrect if the intention behind the sentence was to convey the impression that there were many possible explanations for the differences between handwriting samples, since the word similar, when appended to the end of the sentence, gave the impression that the aforementioned “things” were similar to eachother. His use of syntax (which concerns the structure of sentences and the placement of words within that sentence) was responsible for conveying the opposite impression of what he allegedly “meant”.

As such, the confusion is inextricably linked with syntax – the placement of words within a sentence. The placement of the word “similar” conveyed the opposite impression to the one intended by the source. Your example concerning African Americans being white isn’t analogous at all. But then we learn the distressing reality that you’ve been pestering other people on the telephone, and I think we’re entitled to make certain guesses as to what that consisted of: “Oh, let me tell you everything about that nasty so-called ripperologist from England. You tried to help, but he thinks he’s better than you! What have you to say to that, huh!?” I have to wonder at the level of mental energy that can healthily be spent on me when two people I’ve never met are discussing me and my perceived shortcomings over the phone in a different country and a different language.

For the record, I didn’t use the expression “syntactical error”. I spoke of a sentence that was syntactically incorrect for the intention – the alleged meaning – behind Leander’s sentence. Once again, I’m not at loggerheads with your mate, so kindly refrain from inventing a quote, pretending I was responsible for it, and then using it as evidence for my alleged wrongness. It just makes you look desperate, but such is your maniacal fixation with trying to prove me wrong that most of us knew that already.

“It reinforces what Stephen said on the 1911 thread: "The man´s a genius - he cannot be wrong". If you think that was a sign of high esteem, let me inform you that it was a sarcasm. Obviously, he had been through the same sort of pantomime as you have tried to subject me to. The result of that should be obvious by now.”

I realize you have a mini-orgasm whenever you read anyone disagreeing with me or casting sarcastically negative aspersions in my direction, but I can assure you I’ve never been able to hypnotize Stephen into prolonged cyber-wranglings as I do with you. In fact, the only back-and-forth debate we’ve had concerned the issue of whether the investigation was solved and discreetly closed in the aftermath of the Kelly murder, and we parted most amicably, as non-obsessed adults tend to do. I could, of course, have my own little field day and mention all the negative comments about you that cropped up in the Stride threads, but I won’t lower myself to your sickly standards. And as for me not knowing my grammar, you are generally one of the worst communicators on the message board, eliciting the mirth even of those who agree with you and admit feeling awkward and embarrassed about doing so.

“...unless you are presenting a list of things with an inherent common factor, such as writing space afforded, function of the pen and the writers age, all with the common denominator of being able to affect handwriting, or, for that matter, earthquakes, floodings and forest fires, all with the common denominator of being natural disasters.”

Well, that consists entirely of repetition, so let’s just locate the relevant couter-smack. Here it is: It is only permissible to include “and similar things” if the things in question share a similarity with eachother that is entirely divorced from their influence they just happen to all exert on a specific entity, as we discovered from your examples. The natural disasters listed all share that independent similarity, and any claim to the contrary smacks of obvious desperation. If someone listed a set of natural disasters, you’d spot the theme instantly without having to be told what it is, and you would also be able to provide another example of a natural disaster (a similar thing) without having to give it much thought. Similar is an irrefutably better word than “other” in that case. Not so for age, pen function and available space. Just like rhinos, the Eifel Tower and a meteor, they are not only not “similar things” to eachother, they are incredibly dissimilar, so if I wished to list them all as potentially contributory factors to one’s death, I might list them and many other different things. If I use the word "similar" instead, I'd be saying the opposite of what I actually mean.

It's a simple illustration of the fact that dissimilar things can have the same result, and the fact that the shared result doesn't bestow any more shared similarity amongst those things. The pertinent observation would be that death can be caused by X, Y and Z along with many other different things. We’ve thrashed this all out before, and once again, you think that the “fight fire with fire” repetitive approach is a sensible one.

That was fun. That was easy.

“Therefore, from beginning to end, you are off the mark. And speaking about "syntactical errors" only goes to reinforce that - it was a blatant mistake or an equally blatant lie.”

Oh deary me. Inventing a quote, pretending it originated from me and then using that as a basis for calling ME a liar. Won’t do at all.

“A crab? You need to be careful with that, Ben; crabs are scavengers - they feast on fallen people. When they are done, the only thing left to fade in the merciless sunshine is the bare skeleton. Nasty little buggers, they are...”

That wouldn’t be you finally having the balls to admit to your pugnacious and point-scoring approach to historical debate, would it? That’s certainly the closest you’ve come, and “nasty little bugger” similarly smacks of a new self-awareness. Think I’ll have this particular crab for lunch, however.

No bye byes accepted, I'm afraid. Here, boy. Back you come.

Ben
08-27-2009, 01:46 PM
Hi Vic,

"Pedantically correct" or only correct if you are pedantic enough to enforce it.

But fundamentally, bottom line, correct would be the central bullet point there. That's really all I was interested in, although I wouldn't agree that there's anything strict or draconian about the basic premise that several dissimilar things shouldn't really be described as similar.

Best regards,
Ben

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 02:15 PM
Wrong again, Ben! Syntax only relates to the position of the words in a sentence. Therefore miss Julien can tell us without a shred of doubt that Leanders sentence was syntactically flawless.

And that applies not only in Sweden, but also in Britain, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, the Scottish Highlands and Brunei. And the rest of the world - but for one tiny island far out in the Pacific, inhabited by a man running increasingly desperate circles around his little heap of sand, chased by a crab ...

It´s truly interesting how you can get desperate enough to believe that syntax would not be the same to a Swede as it is to any other person (well, Ben, any other person BUT YOU, that is...!) I used the word "moronic" in my last post, and you certainly bolster it as best as you can, poor. Thanks for that! You even fail to see that your own dictionary tells you the exact same thing: “the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language" - in other words, it´s about GRAMMAR, and matters like the wrong choice of words do not apply, have nothing to do, does not touch upon, never was about and never will be a question of syntax. Syntax is and remains a question of the order in which you write the words. If you write them in the wrong order, you have made a syntactical error.

Is it slowly seeping through to you? Forming the same sort of logical picture that it has done to the rest of the world, throughout history, ever since the word syntax was invented? Yes? No?

My own guess would be no - you have displayed such a thick attitude that I genuinely believe that you etiher need a language expert - no. wait a minute, I engaged Julien and that did not make you see the light - or a shrink, specializing in illusions of grandeur.
I´d opt for the latter choice if I were you.

"It is only permissible to include “and similar things” if the things in question share a similarity with eachother that is entirely divorced from their influence they just happen to all exert on a specific entity, as we discovered from your examples. The natural disasters listed all share that independent similarity"

...was, is and remains balderdash - the natural disasters share the similarity of being destructive in one way or another, and they share the similarity of having beed formed into a group of occurences which we call natural disasters.
Leanders listed bits share the similarity of affecting the handstyle, and they share the similarity of having been formed into a group of occurences that we may use to explain why a handstyle can be changed.

Inbetween these groups, other groups exist that in varying degrees represent formations that are more or less often grouped together because of some inherent common factor.

Therefore, wind, sun, humidity and similar things may affect the skin, for example; although they are not similar things on the surface, they share a similarity in the context given, and nobody but far-away islanders would come up with an idea that only things similar to humidity would be allowed for.
What you are doing - and what Vic tells you you should NOT be doing - is trying to take the possibilities of interpretation into the realms of sillyness. That has afforded you Vic´s wise wording that you are "pedantically correct" - meaning that you are incorrect in practice. If you need to say that distant cousins cannot live together, because they would no longer be distant, you would be "pedantically correct" too...

"Similar is an irrefutably better word than “other” in that case"

No, it is not - if we need to be pedantical, we need to realize that natural disasters are totally dissimilar to each other - they involve fire and water, for example - and so, we need to say "related" or "other" instead of similar. The good thing about it all is that we MAY use the word similar when we speak about ANY grouping where we recognize an inherent common factor. If we use very indiscriminating things like, for example, hedgehogs, Jerry Lewis and whisky as being "similar" since they cheer you up, the possibility becomes a much more remote one since it all becomes far-fetched and generally people will refrain from using the terminology in such a case. But in Leanders construction, we all KNEW pretty damn well that he mentioned age of the writer as an example of things that may affect the handwriting, he mentioned space afforded as an example of things that may affect the handwriting and he mentioned function of the pen as an example of things that may affect the handwriting. Plus he did so in an ongoing discussion about handwriting and in the role of a handwriting expert. That is more than enough do justify the use of the word similar - albeit you think you are scoring points by claiming the opposite. You are not - you are stripping to the bone.

Now, go read that dictionary again, and try - TRY! - to understand. Then answer me the questions:

1. Would miss Julien be able to tell if a sentence is syntactically correct or not?

2. Is the sentence "Afro-americans are generally white" factually or syntactically incorrect? Hmm? Am I placing the words in the wrong order making my statement, or am I merely using the wrong term to describe the colour of Afro-americans? Am i faulting FACTUALLY or GRAMMATICALLY???

Ooough - tough call, innit...?

The best
Fisherman
Got there? Sinking in? Bye? Yes? YESSSSS?

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 02:27 PM
Ben, in desperation, realizing that Vic never was too fond of his slithering::

"fundamentally, bottom line, "correct" would be the central bullet point there"

"Correct" would only be "correct" in an alternative role, Ben - it would be as correct as to say that distant cousins can not come geographically close to each other. It is correct to point out that "distant" means "far away from", but it is not correct to use it in any other repsect than the one relating to blood relation. That is why Vic speaks of draconian, outmoded and excessively strict interpretations on your behalf. It is also, by the way, the reason for his suggesting that a sensible approach to the topic would be not to be "correct" in the manner you choose to.

But by all means, keep stripping, Ben. I´m not going anywhere.

Fisherman
Over and out? Hmm? Yes?

Ben
08-27-2009, 02:39 PM
See what I mean? Back, poodle-like, at my hypnotic well-trained command. Stop fibbing about the whole “bye bye” thing, Fisherman. Makes you look even sillier than you do already.

“Wrong again, Ben! Syntax only relates to the position of the words in a sentence.”

It relates to sentence structure, and as it happens, the word “similar” was in very much the wrong position considering that Leander’s alleged intention was to convey the “meaning” that there were many different explanations for the differences. If you list several dissimilar things, then by adding “and similar things” afterwards, the impression given is that he meant “similar” only to the last mentioned. This wouldn’t amount to conventional phraseology by any means, but it is infinitely better that listing completely different things and then adding “and similar things” afterwards. This most emphatically relates to the placement of words within a sentence, and therefore relates to syntax. The location of the word within a sentence came into play here, in addition to the actual meaning of the words used. If you’re deluded into thinking otherwise, you really are in the wrong profession.

“My own guess would be no - you have displayed such a thick attitude that I genuinely believe that you etiher need a language expert - no.”

Well, the last thing I need is an insufferable fraud who reveals, once again, that is is only capable of resorting to his favourite unsuccessful “all guns blazing” debating strategy, especially when he keeps bombarding other the Swedes and doing his best to encourage them – total strangers – to make a dim view of me. Again, even your mates are embarrassed to agree with you given your ponderous and bombastic style. You make your predecessor look like Shakespeare.

“the natural disasters share the similarity of being destructive in one way or another, and they share the similarity of having beed formed into a group of occurences which we call natural disasters”

But in the case of natural disasters, we know instantly what the central theme is without needing to be informed what it is. They are similar already, and in isolation from any “result” that they just happen to exert on a particular entity. The same is true of your sun, wind, and humidity analogy. Anyone is capable of discerning that the obvious central theme is weather. They’re all similar even when divorced from an obscure “theme”, which is why we’d have no trouble identifying a myriad of other similar things. Age, available space, and pen function are not similar in isolation, so they shouldn’t be described as such, which is why nobody does, except Leander apparently.

“That has afforded you Vic´s wise wording that you are "pedantically correct" - meaning that you are incorrect in practice.”

That’s the filthiest nonsense I’ve seen today. “You’re correct, but because you had to be so damn pedantic about it, you must be incorrect.” Is that an avenue you really wish to pursue? Seriously, spend time with your wife and family. Go on another holiday. Anything but keep stalking me around serial killer message boards with some Ahabian creepy vendetta.

Bye?

Oh, you’re leaving? Are you phuck. Watch…

"Is the sentence "Afro-americans are generally white" factually or syntactically incorrect? Hmm? Am I placing the words in the wrong order making my statement, or am I merely using the wrong term to describe the colour of Afro-americans? Am i faulting FACTUALLY or GRAMMATICALLY???"

You're faulting all over the place, but in the above instance, no, the error is not concerned with syntax since there can be no criticism about the structure of the sentence or the placement of words within a sentence to the extent that it might convey a different meaning. Not so with the Leander sentence, where both the meaning and placement of the words contributed to the confusion.

No, it is not - if we need to be pedantical, we need to realize that natural disasters are totally dissimilar to each other - they involve fire and water, for example - and so, we need to say "related" or "other" instead of similar.

If you're claiming that natural disasters are "totally dissimilar", then you're insane, as well as perpetually ignorant and dangerously obsessed. "Things" become when you can discern the central theme without having to to be told what the theme is. Nobody will ever be confused if, when presented with a list of natural disasters, they are then asked to provide an additional example of a "similar" thing", same with sun and wind. If you're seriously arguing that a tornado and a hurricane have as much similarity with eachother as pen function and age, then you're either delusional or lying.

Ben
08-27-2009, 02:47 PM
That post was addressed to Vic, Fisherman, and you needn't be so completely possessed with your burning desire for me that you have to respond to every post I make, including the ones that were never addressed to you. Not only is Vic capable of defending himself, he has been doing a consistently better job at debating the matter with me. Though I disagree with him with some vehemence, he has at least used clarity and insight as opposed to the bombast and bluster that characterizes your failing debating techniques. Same with your Toppy mates who all have more credibility than you. Vic observes that I was correct, whether pedantically so or not, I was still correct, so any crass attemps to obfuscate that glaring reality are doomed to failure. Again, it isn't draconian or strict to observe that different things shouldn't be described as similar.

But by all means, keep stripping, Ben. I´m not going anywhere.

Good! I don't want you to go anywhere. How bored and unimportant I'd feel if you stopped stalking me. Your ignorance and prolix persistence sustains me, attesting as it does to your total fixation with me. I crave the attention, Fish, and delight at the prospect of you following me around and making up the Hutchinson thread numbers. Just makes a refreshing change that you're no longer lying about leaving. That was getting old quickly.

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 02:56 PM
Ben, in desperation:

"It relates to sentence structure, and as it happens, the word “similar” was in very much the wrong position considering that Leander’s alleged intention was to convey the “meaning” that there were many different explanations for the differences."

..and sentence structure is about which word ends up where in the sentence without making a GRAMMATICAL error. No grammatical error is about in Leanders sentence, just like Julien tells you. She has also told you, ages ago, how and why we build listings like this, with commas and all, in order to facilitate for the reader to understand it.

Even if you had been right - and you are not, of course - about what Leander meant, that would not mean that the sentence was syntactically incorrect - the syntax is and remains - just like Julien tells us - FLAWLESS! The only error that would have been about - if your interpretation had been correct - and it never was, of course - would STILL have been an error of factuality; the suggested misuse of the word "similar".

Syntax, Ben. Syntax. Read all about it!

"especially when he keeps bombarding other the Swedes and doing his best to encourage them – total strangers – to make a dim view of me."

I did not HAVE TO encourage miss Julien to anything. Syntax is as easy and uninterpretable to her as it is to me. It was the easiest call she had made this decade, believe me. Nor do I need her to make you look dim - you do that nicely all by yourself.

"But in the case of natural disasters, we know instantly what the central theme is without needing to be informed what it is."

Aaahhh! So nobody informed you that the central theme of Leanders efforts was about handwriting? No? You never realized that he used his examples to point to factors that could affect the handwriting? Does that mean that I can use the word "dim" once again? Yes, it does.

"That’s the filthiest nonsense I’ve seen today."

That is what happens to people who combine a blindfold with a pair of blinkers.

The best,
Fisherman
Now? Yeah?

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 03:01 PM
Ben, about Vic:

"Not only is Vic capable of defending himself, he has been doing a consistently better job at debating the matter with me. Though I disagree with him with some vehemence, he has at least used clarity and insight as opposed to the bombast and bluster that characterizes your failing debating techniques."

Mmm - I particularly liked it when he pointed one of your posts out as the single most hypocritical one he had seen on Casebook! That IS clarity and insight, I have to admit!

The best,
Fisherman
Enough? No mas? Bye?

Ben
08-27-2009, 03:05 PM
..and sentence structure is about which word ends up where in the sentence without making a GRAMMATICL error.

Ah, but read carefully and you'll notice that I never once used the word "error". That was you, inventing a quote, deliberately attempting to manipulate and deceive by pretending it came from me, and then using that as an opportunity to call me "wrong" and claim those desperately cherished points. The confusion in Leander's sentence stemmed from the placement AND meaning of the word similar within that sentence. It therefore relates to syntax, as I'm prepared to reiterate until I outlive you.

if your interpretaion had been correct (and it never was, of course), would STILL have been an error of factuality; the suggested misuse of the word "similar".

Misuse of the placement of the word, which irrefutably relates to the structure of the sentence and thus to syntax.

"I did not HAVE TO encourage miss Julien to anything. Syntax is as easy and uninterpretable to her as it is to me. It was the easiest call she made this decade, believe me. "

I don't disagree with her, as you know. Obviously you phoned her up to lie about what I said and cast negative aspertions, over the phone, about my character and motivations, but that says more about your stalkerish obsession than anything, something Leander must have noticed to, hence his abrupt response to your latest.

Aaahhh! So nobody informed you that the central theme of Leanders efforts was about handwriting? No? You never realized that he used his examples to point to factors that could affect the handwriting?

They're not similar to eachother. If he meant to say that there were lots of different explanations that may account for the differences, he had only to say so. Instead, he opted to say the polar opposite of what you're claiming he meant. The fact that we know what the theme was most assuredly does not bestow any independent similarity upon the three explanations listed. There was no justification for the word "similar" at all.

Ben
08-27-2009, 03:08 PM
Mmm - I particularly liked it when he pointed one of your posts out as the single most hypocritical one he had seen on Casebook! That IS clarity and insight, I have to admit!

Oh, I always love it when I get to the stage where Fisherman quotes other people's criticisms of me in an effort to score points. It's reflective of startling maturity. Check out "Kidney - for and against" for some incisive and humourously-phrased observations about Fisherman, if we're playing that fun game.

Come on - next!

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 03:31 PM
"It therefore relates to syntax, as I'm prepared to reiterate until I outlive you."

You are ever so welcome, Ben - the trouble is that grammar and syntax will outlive YOU. Not your version of it, though.

"I don't disagree with her, as you know. Obviously you phoned her up to lie about what I said and cast negative aspertions, over the phone, about my character and motivations"

Ahh - and how does that become "obvious"? Hmm? I asked her if she saw any syntactical errors in the sentence, and she said that it was "flawless", and when I added the question about the differing opinions about the meaning of "similar", she said that it did not affect the syntax question. It was a two minute phonecall, and I need much more than that to describe you. The only obvious thing around here is that you are wrong.

"They're not similar to eachother. If he meant to say that there were lots of different explanations that may account for the differences, he had only to say so. Instead, he opted to say the polar opposite of what you're claiming he meant."

But that was not the question, was it? You wrote that "in the case of natural disasters, we know instantly what the central theme is without needing to be informed what it is." Thus it would seem that knowing the central theme was what you lacked in the case of Leanders sentence. And apart from the sad fact that it seems you have missed out on a few interesting bits and pieces, you are thus saying that when the central theme is known, we are at liberty to use the term "similar" in the exact same way that Leander did.

I knew the central theme - it was about handwriting, ´s far ass I can recall. And I feel pretty certain that Leander knew the central theme too.

A pity you did not, Ben - and if you truly did not, I have a little more understanding to offer for your take on things. If you truly were at a loss to see that we were discussing handwriting, then maybe it was not that easy a thing for you to realize in what way age of the writer, writing space afforded and function of the pen were connected. And if you did not understand what inherent common factor they displayed, then ... Oh, God - I may have been unfair to you, Ben!

"he opted to say the polar opposite of what you're claiming he meant."

That, once again, is language à la Ben. You may claim that he spoke Swahili, and you would be just as incorrect.

Oh, and on my quoting Vic; I just got the impression that you were somewhat too enthusistic about his true judgement of the quality of your reasoning. I am sorry if you are offended by my commenting on a post of yours directed to someone else - but to tell the truth, you have done the exact same thing dozens of times, so I was under the impression that such a thing would go down nicely.

The best,
Fisherman
Aaaand there we go; case closed? Come on..?

Ben
08-27-2009, 03:47 PM
Ahh - and how does that become "obvious"? Hmm? I asked her if she saw any syntactical errors in the sentence, and she said that it was "flawless",

It's glaringly obvious that you sought to depict me in the worst light possible when approaching these experts because that is precisely what you've been guilty of elsewhere. If you told her that I spoke of a "syntactical error", then either you forgot what I actually wrote or you're deliberately trying to mislead. Leander communicated the opposite of his allegedly intended meaning as a direct result of syntax. The problem concerned both the meaning and the placement of the word similar, and syntax is indisputably concerned with the latter. Sounds like you misrepresented my views - intentionally or not - in order to elicit your favourite "Ben's wrong" reaction, and it's not going to work here, because I'm not.

"Thus it would seem that knowing the central theme was what you lacked in the case of Leanders sentence

Yes, but when we're dealing with truly "similar things", we are able to discern that central theme without having to be told what it is. If you have to be told what that theme is - for example, if you're needing to be told what unites rhinos, hemorrhoids and fire, it's because those things are otherwise very different to eachother. That's the tell-tale barometer. With natural disasters, you can both spot the theme and provide other examples. Why? Because they're similar already. I've explained this an absurd amount of times now, politely at first, but then...

If they're not similar, but have a shared result on a specific phenomenon, they don't get any more similar. They don't lose their inherent dissimilarity courtesy of that shared result, which is why you'd say that a X, Y and Z can impact on a given phenomenon along with many other different things - different being the opposite of similar.

Oh, and on my quoting Vic; I just got the impression that you were somewhat too enthusistic about his true judgement of the quality of your reasoning.

I simply filtered the salient central observation. That's all.

Aaaand there we go; case closed? Come on..?

Please stop that. It's getting tedious. No, I don't agree with you, not remotely, and I feel certain I never will. Have the maturity to take the advice of your fellow Toppy-supporters, who you claim to respect, and stop trying to engage people in semantic cyber-wrangling battles all the time. I imagine most people will have made their mind up by now, and if they haven't, more repetetive drivel isn't going to help them along. It's patronising to everyone else to claim otherwise.

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 04:10 PM
"It's glaringly obvious that you sought to depict me in the worst light possible when approaching these experts because that is precisely what you've been guilty of elsewhere."

Exemplify, or stand with the shame.

"If you told her that I spoke of a "syntactical error", then either you forgot what I actually wrote of you're deliberately trying to mislead."

I´m Swedish. She is Swedish. We spoke Swedish. I used the expression "syntaktiskt inkorrekt" which is as close as I can come to "syntactically incorrect". I know you and your linguistic schemes, Ben - I do not fall into any traps by now. I did in the beginning, since I thought I was dealing with an honest poster, but I have learnt my lesson. Of course, syntactical incorrectness is shown in syntactical errors, so the discussion is a moot one, but still ...

"Yes, but when we're dealing with truly "similar things", we are able to discern that central theme without having to be told what it is"

...and did you have to be told what central theme we were dealing with in the Leander case? Did you? Was it not quite apparent to all of us that we spoke of handwriting? Was that not what the whole issue was about? And if so, the context WAS given, and you were not at any loss at all to be able to realize what central theme it was that united the listed things in Leanders sentence.

"If they're not similar, but have a shared result on a specific phenomenon, they don't get any more similar."

You ARE speaking of natural disasters, are you not; things that are NOT similar, but that share the result of causing damage on a large scale?

"I simply filtered the salient central observation. That's all."

Ehrm...no, you did not. You chose the word "correct" in the same fashion that a movie director that has a critic saying "The fantastic thing about this film, was that the celluloid it was made on could be turned into a smashing toilet paper" would choose the two words "fantastic" and "smashing" for the movie poster. Wait a minute; you are in the movie business, are you not...?

But since you prefer Vic´s way to phrase things, and since we are currently speaking of what points are truly salient in his judgement of you, here´s two more favourites that go nicely to show that if you think that Vic´s verdict on your ramblings is a verdict of ”correct”, you need to think again:

”I cannot think of one instance where that sentence could be used unless you deliberate manipulate the situation to force it”

...and

”you are literally and pedantically interpreting each word of a phrase, which is leading you into semantic gymnastics to defend what you've previously said, despite it's obvious inaccuracy”

Now, try and reconcile ”manipulate” and ”inaccuracy” with ”correct” - and then tell me that Vic, just like Leander, cannot make his mind up, but instead reels drunkenly between extremes. That is the only ”salient” observation we can make here, is it not?

The best,
Fisherman
come on, Ben, others have been wrong before you. Yes? Arrividerla?

Ben
08-27-2009, 04:26 PM
Gosh, so not much respect for your fellow Toppy-supporters then when they tried to discourage you from resorting to the perpetually unsuccessful "fight to the death" approach, then? Didn't think so, and I'm glad of it. I realise I'm so much more of a priority than anything else ripper-related, and "as for not falling into my trap", you're still here, aren't you?

Good. Keep it that way. I own you.

I did in the beginning, since I thought I was dealing with an honest poster, but I have learnt my lesson.

...By dedicating more time to me and my contributions than any other poster. Flattered though I am, are you sure there is no differentiation in Sweden between "error" and "incorrect"? That would surprise me enormously, but even if that wasn't the case, it still doesn't detract from the calumny of wrapping a phrase I wasn't responsible for in inverted commas, and using it as a basis to claim I'm either wrong, lying, or both.

...and did you have to be told what central theme we were dealing with in the Leander case? Did you? Was it not quite apparent to all of us that we spoke of handwriting?

Of course it was. We were all made aware of the context because we had been discussing it for ages, but if you posit age and "available space" with no reference to any context, you've little chance of identifying the relevant theme. Not so with natural disasters. You don't need any prior background or discussion whatsoever to know that tornados, hurricanes and volcanos are all "similar things" already - similar in isolation from any influence it may exert on a specified phenomenon. Occasionally, a whole array of dissimilar things can have a shared effect, but they'd still retain that dissimilarity, so it would only be circumspect to describe them as such.

Ehrm...no, you did not. You chose the word "correct"

Because that's what he said. It doesn't matter if he then added, "But I still hate your every sinew, and have nothing but contempt for everything else you say", it would not detract from that central observation. I was correct, pedantically so to some, but correct all the same. I realise that may be antithetical to your vendetta, just as I realise why you're insistent upon bringing Vic up at every opportunity - you know full well that his debating style, and those of the others who disagree with me, is superior to your own, which is why you feel the need to reel them in again. That's why you mentioned other participants. You'd sleep better at night knowing there was a whole army of posters all ganging up against me. It would be interesting to see whether or not they fall for it.

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 04:41 PM
Tell you what, chum:

Go out into the large, wide world out there. Then find yourself someone - anyone - that is prepared to side with you on the issues at hand:
Was the sentence "syntactically incorrect"?
Has Leander not been circumspect and steadfast?
Should his sentence be interpreted in the way you suggest, or in the way the rest of us out here suggest?
Are you right, or is miss Julien right?
Would Leander be a better judge of what he himself believes than you?

...and so on and so forth. Preferably, use experts when experts are needed, but I am prepared to settle for anything from ventriloquists to gibbon monkey fur tendants, as long as you avoid Crystal, Rose and Jane.

Then, when you can establish that other people share your wiews to at least some extent, return to the boards, and I will talk to you with more inerest than I can offer for the moment. Corroboration is a good thing, Ben - it´s what moves issues forward.

The best,
Fisherman
waiting

Ben
08-27-2009, 04:54 PM
and I will talk to you with more inerest than I can offer for the moment

That was Fisherman claiming a lack of interest in my contributions, ladies and gentleman.

Engage with the irony for a moment. Process it.

Having said that, I think you've highlighted an important issue - "the large, wide world out there". If you engage in some rare circumspection for a moment, you'll realise that it is the concerns of that "large wide world" that deter the vast majority from getting involved in a tedious semantic debates that you started out of a transparent attempt to goad me into battle once more. Interpret that as victory if you want - it's your delusion to harbour...chum.

Victor
08-27-2009, 06:09 PM
But fundamentally, bottom line, correct would be the central bullet point there. That's really all I was interested in, although I wouldn't agree that there's anything strict or draconian about the basic premise that several dissimilar things shouldn't really be described as similar.

Hi Ben,

I intentionally differentiated "pedantically correct" from "correct" in particular because the reverse is not considered wrong, it is "colloquially correct".

As you are well aware, I did not state anything like what you are implying in the 2nd sentence, I said that enforcing unnecessarily restrictive rules (like this one) was draconian.

KR,
Vic.

Fisherman
08-27-2009, 07:12 PM
Ben:

"I think you've highlighted an important issue - "the large, wide world out there". If you engage in some rare circumspection for a moment, you'll realise that it is the concerns of that "large wide world" that deter the vast majority from getting involved in a tedious semantic debates that you started out of a transparent attempt to goad me into battle once more."

Well, Ben, I think we need to tell two things apart here - the ones who have had access to the ongoing discussion between you and me are very few, but the ones that may potentially agree with your take on how semantics are best twisted amount to a round 6 billion people. And nothing would interest me more than a statistical evaluation of how many followers you could round up with this manifest of yours! My hunch is that it would be very telling.

Besides, Vic has now stepped in and told you that you may have been a tad premature in signing him up as a follower - it would instead seem that he very much dislikes any bending and twisting on your behalf with the aim to "prove" that his "salient" point was that you would have been "correct" (my, how many quotation marks one has to engage when describing your efforts, Ben!). And so I thought it must get bitterly lonely for you at times - admittedly, not very many people have had the stomach to speak up in this issue, but those who have, have all spoken against you.
No delusions there, I´m afraid. But sure enough, they are around aplenty on the thread.

The best,
Fisherman
off to more interesting issues - until you step over the line again. Could be in five minutes time, for all I know.

Sam Flynn
08-28-2009, 12:54 AM
The people you listed all agree with your Toppy stance.
That has nothing to do with it, Ben. I'm not agreeing with anyone's stance, but trusting my own judgment; indeed, it was trusting my own judgment that prompted me to flag up the similarity of the signatures in the first place. Furthermore, the Toppy question and the meaning of a sentence (in this case written by Leander, but it could be absolutely anyone) are entirely separate matters. Further-furthermore [sic.] I can, and do, keep them separate - as I'm sure Fish and Mike have done throughout.

Fisherman
08-28-2009, 08:26 PM
Finally had the time to go hunting on the net for a new collection of “similar” things and their grouping together. Now, let´s keep in mind your demands, Ben: If we are to allow for a grouping where the word “similar” can be used in an extensive manner, the context must be obvious to everybody.
If we do not have such an obvious context, I am saying that once the context IS provided, we are allowed to use the word similar – and we do so in a very large extent. It is common procedure, as will be clear using these examples:

“Vacations, museums, and similar things” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilfein/collections/72157600023445859/)

This is a photo collection. Vacations and museums are not similar at all, but in the given context of both relating to spare time, the construction works.

129. If the ground, cloth, or similar things are wet, then only that part will become najis where najasat reaches, and the remaining part will remain Pak.
(http://www.al-islam.org/laws/najisthings.html)

This is about islam religious purity; the ground and cloth are totally dissimilar things, but they both are listed as similar, being things you get in contact with body-wise - and the construction works!

Histoires d’oeufs et de paniers »
Of eggs, baskets, and similar things
(http://blog.oxado.com/2008/01/14/of-eggs-baskets-and-similar-things/)

Eggs. Baskets. Dissimilar. But it is about baking, and the similarity lies in that relation. The construction works.

“Q. Did any one commission you to paint Germans, buffoons, and similar things in the picture? A. No, milords, but I received the commission to decorate the ...”
(http://books.google.se/books?id=hecmBH2KhL4C&pg=PA517&lpg=PA517&dq=%22and+similar+things%22&source=bl&ots=7iQqzymCkA&sig=LqzPHU4PDt11I-YHlrCJK1jDFpU&hl=sv&ei=tgiYSqyLNNPE-QaYp8G4BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#v=onepage&q=%22and%20similar%20things%22&f=false)

Buffoons and Germans – similar? Yes, in the respect that they ended up on the same painting. Construction works.


“... painted by himself, a letter from Cromwell to King Charles I, an autograph of Benvenuto Cellini, the door from Machiavelli's house and similar things. ...”
(http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=APA.047.1253A)

In a letter from Sigmund Freud to Martha Freud, this list is presented. Is it obvious, do you think, that a letter from Cromwell should be considered similar to Machiavelli´s door? Nope. Neither do I. But the construction works, since the two Freuds had the context given; that of speaking artefacts.


“the personal information manager in Office 97 that handles appointments, tasks, notes and similar things”
(http://aroundcny.com/technofile/texts/bkwhycantms97.html)

In the computer office world, the similarity of tasks and notes is a clear one. But if you did not have the context, would the two be considered similar? Don´t think so.

“These screens are pretty nice, they show some comics, random facts, some headlines, weather forecast and similar things.”
(http://blog.drinsama.de/erich/2006/Dec/18)

Random facts and comics, Ben. Think about it; would you shout “similar”? No? Then why is it that the writer group these two things with headlines and weather forecasts as all being similar? Yes, correct; because they all belong to the world of tiny television bits and pieces. And as we have that context, we allow for the “s” word.

“Surprise parties, spontaneous getaways, gifts and similar things are likely to be a big hit with an Artisan mate. Artisans often like to redecorate simply ...”
(http://www.keirsey.com/personalityzone/lz33.asp)

You can see where I´m heading, can´t you?

“the case appear to have engaged in run of the mill socializing on Facebook: sharing photos, writing status updates and similar things. ...”
(http://legalblogwatch.typepad.com/legal_blog_watch/2009/08/facebook-sued-for-privacy-violation.html)

…and again…

“... the specific sense is concerned with honor, property, safety and similar things, while justice in the larger sense is concerned with virtue as a whole. ...”
(http://www.gradesaver.com/aristotles-ethics/study-guide/section5/)

Honor. Property. Safety. And similar things. Law and order is the clue. Present the context, and nobody will misinterpret what “similar” points out.

“The document interestingly holds some information on future dependencies, time schedules and similar things, and it quickly becomes clear that the solution ...”
(http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Skype_and_the_Bavarian_trojan_in_the_middle)

…and on it goes…

“This museum beautifully exhibits various herbs, antique equipments, papers on ancient therapies and similar things. ...”
(http://www.articlealley.com/article_1043936_29.html)

…never ending. All the world uses the word similar to describe totally different things. The context is the key.

“equipment such as pitons, hooks, hammers and bolts; Ice skates; Meatcleavers; Axes, hatchets and similar things; Metal cutlery ...”
(http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/domestic/prohibited_list.aspx)

A nice round-off, wouldn´t you say? Ice-skates and hammers. AND SIMILAR THINGS. Similar to BOTH ice skates and hamers, that is. How can that be? Ice skates and hammers are so, so…well, dissimilar, you know. But – Heureka! – we suddenly realize that we are dealing with a list of things that one cannot put in the hands of dangerous criminals, since they may be used as weapons.
Now, with your semantic take on things, we would only be allowed to add things similar to hatchets, since that was last mentioned. My hunch, though, is that screwdrivers and metal shoehorns would be just as similar.


So, what have we seen? Have we seen that people only group things that are related to each other in such an obvious manner that EVERYBODY will see the connection? No, we have not – it is very common practice to group things together that are not related to each other in any obvious fashion at all.
Then why is this done? How do we understand the message the groupings are meant to send?
We do so because of two things:
1. There is always an inherent common factor inbetween the things listed, and…
2. We are provided with the context in which the common factor comes into play.
And why does this touch on the Leander issue? Correct – because the exact same two parameters were at hand when Leander provided us with the sentence about “age of the writer, writing space afforded, function of the pen AND SIMILAR THINGS”. The three things listed had the inherent common factor of all being able to affect handwriting, and we all knew that they were presented in the context of a handwriting analysis.

Twenty pages of net googling was what it took to come up with these examples, Ben. There are hundreds of thousands of other groupings out there, where common practice allows us to speak of things that are dissimilar as “similar things”. Inherent commonalities in a given context is all it takes.
Actually, I think I am right about all of this. I can see only one factor that may affect that, and that would be if all of these sentences are syntactically incorrect...

The best,
Fisherman

Ben
08-29-2009, 04:42 AM
Finally had the time to go hunting on the net for a new collection of “similar” things and their grouping together.

You "finally had the time", announces my obsessed stalker? Do you really not recall what factor dictated both your time and your internet activity almost all week? That would be me. So what you really mean is that you found time away from your hectic Ben-bothering schedule to try and google your way out of a mire of your own making, which not-so-coincidentally, was also tied into the Ben-bothering theme. The extent to which I can command your weekly undivided obsessive attention is warming to my soul, and I do succumb easily to flattery, so by all means continue.

But here's how Fisherman went about trying to prove Ben wrong - his ultimate goal, his cherished pursuit, his stalkerly obsession: In order to defend the factually and syntactically confusing sentence written by Leander, who we know for a fact revised his stance in response to pestering requests for clarification from Fisherman, he has decided to quote chiefly from a handful of blogs from random members of the public who do not purport to be experts on anything, let alone the correct application of the English language. Are these people suddently the barometers of linguistic prowess and thus a vindication of the flawed and desperate observations of a Swedish keyboard warrior who clearly prefers fighting with strangers over a long-dead serial killer on the internet to spending time with his family and friends on a Friday evening?

Well, my infatuated follower, to each his own, but let us start by having fun with the first one:

“Vacations, museums, and similar things” (http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilfei...7600023445859/)”

Yes, Fisherman, you’ve googled the personal blog of a random member of the public – in this case, a bloke photographed wearing a snorkeling mask – and used him as an example of a linguistic model that we should aspire to emulate, and you’ve just looked very foolish by doing so. Congratulations. His sentence is incorrect. It doesn’t make sense. Do I blame him? No. He’s an ordinary member of the public, not under any academic scrutiny from anyone in Sweden and certainly not purporting any expertise.

He’s wrong, forgivably so.

Next:

“the ground and cloth are totally dissimilar things, but they both are listed as similar, being things you get in contact with body-wise - and the construction works”

This from a website that was responsible for the following: “If an animal whose meat is halal to eat, is slaughtered in accordance with the method prescribed by Shariah, and enough blood flows out, the blood of which is still left in its body is Pak”. Do you think that “construction works”? Whoops, I’m asking the wrong person.

“Eggs. Baskets. Dissimilar. But it is about baking, and the similarity lies in that relation. The construction works”

Of course it doesn’t, but eggs and baskets acquired a widely recognised similarity over the years courtesy of the well known expression “Don’t place your eggs in one basket”. That’s just obvious. Don’t you remember what I told you about natural disasters and they way in which “similar things” are rendered so because you can instantly spot the theme without being told about it? Here is a case in point. If someone were to say “eggs, baskets” to you, you’d immediately think of that well-known theme – no prior explanation of why they are similar is necessary. They belong in a famous phrase.

“Buffoons and Germans – similar? Yes, in the respect that they ended up on the same painting. Construction works.”

It seems that whatever sense you may have of irony may have washed over you there. The naughty joking implication here is that Germans and buffoons are similar.

“... painted by himself, a letter from Cromwell to King Charles I, an autograph of Benvenuto Cellini, the door from Machiavelli's house and similar things. ...”

Actually, the link you provided had nothing whatsoever to do with any of that. Where is this list presented and why does it not appear on the page when I opened it? Could it be because none of the “things” listed have any similarity whatsoever with eachother and those at the helm of “PEP” consequently saw fit to remove such an odd and misleading sentence? Here’s hoping, but at least it doesn’t appear on the page when opened.

“In the computer office world, the similarity of tasks and notes is a clear one. But if you did not have the context, would the two be considered similar?”

Of course you would. Any list that includes “appointments, tasks and notes” immediately conjures up images of officialdom and bureaucracy. They are all irrefutably similar in isolation. You “appoint” people for jobs, and another word for a job is a “task”. These are getting easier, Fisherman, really.

“they show some comics, random facts, some headlines, weather forecast and similar things.”

Fine and dandy. No context required here to note the obvious independent similarity, just like natural disasters. I look at that list and think to myself; they could all be in reference to things that appear in a magazine of newspapers, which of course encompasses online equivalents. Comics and random facts are very commonly found in newspapers, and since newspapers have been around for some time, lumping them into the same category becomes simplicity itself. No prior explanation of context required.

“Surprise parties, spontaneous getaways, gifts and similar things”

Things to please a loved one or parter. Easy, and it belongs in the same category as natural disasters and magazine/newspaper context. Their context is so immediately apparent that nobody needs to tell you what it is first. That’s how they acquire their similarity, and why Leander’s list fails most spectacularly to qualify on that score.

“You can see where I´m heading, can´t you?”

An asylum for the criminally insane and dangerously obsessed.

“sharing photos, writing status updates and similar things. ...”

And where are you most likely to find a place where you both share photos and write status updates? Yep, that’ll be the social networking websites. Easy, and as with natural disasters and the other examples referred to previously, the central theme is instantly recognizable, which wasn’t the case with Leander’s dissimilar list.

“Both justice in the specific sense and justice as the whole of virtue are defined in relation to other people, but justice in the specific sense is concerned with honor, property, safety and similar things”

All you’ve provided is yet another example of clumsy and misleading phraseology, and I’m afraid two wrongs do not make a right, or in this case, two independent sources making the same linguistic ****-up do not suddenly alter the rules of acceptable phraseology.

“The document interestingly holds some information on future dependencies, time schedules and similar things, and it quickly becomes clear that the solution ...”

What’s the observation with this one? These two things share an obvious similarity already, unless you’re arguing that “time” is somehow unrelated to "future".

“This museum beautifully exhibits various herbs, antique equipments, papers on ancient therapies and similar things. ...”

Oh sweet merciful testicles of doom, Fisherman. There are papers on ancient therapies, and there are papers on topics that are similar to ancient therapies. Understand now?

“All the world uses the word similar to describe totally different things.”

Only most of the above examples demonstrated the precise opposite, rendering your latest foray into the exciting world of Google more pointless that it has ever been, undertaken as it was on Friday evening of all times. If you think any of the above are reflective or “all the world”, then you have my alarmed pity.

“hooks, hammers and bolts; Ice skates; Meatcleavers; Axes, hatchets and similar things; Metal cutlery”

These are so similar than they have two shared themes – items that shouldn’t be placed in the hands of a criminal (the one provided), and items that are made from steel. Sinch, Those are even more similar than natural disasters. Again, such a list allows the discerning reader (or even the not-so-discerning reader) to spot a similar theme instantly without having to be told what it is. When listed together with the other items, there can be no doubt as to which general category hammers and ice skates belong.

“Now, with your semantic take on things, we would only be allowed to add things similar to hatchets, since that was last mentioned.”

No, that has not been my take on it. My take on it is that “and similar things” should not be appended to a list of otherwise dissimilar items, unless you were referring to the last mentioned only. In the above case, we don’t have any such problem because they all similar even when dislocated from the “things that a criminal shouldn’t carry” context. Really, you are deluded to think that these frantically and obsessively googled examples bolster any other “cause” than the one I advanced.

“Correct – because the exact same two parameters were at hand when Leander provided us with the sentence about “age of the writer, writing space afforded, function of the pen AND SIMILAR THINGS”. The three things listed had the inherent common factor of all being able to affect handwriting, and we all knew that they were presented in the context of a handwriting analysis.”

Wait a minute, haven’t we been through this before. Why yes! I said this: It is only permissible to include “and similar things” if the things in question share a similarity with eachother that is entirely divorced from their influence they just happen to all exert on a specific entity, as we discovered from your examples. Similar is an irrefutably better word than “other” in that case. Not so for age, pen function and available space. Just like rhinos, the Eifel Tower and a meteor, they are not only not “similar things” to eachother, they are incredibly dissimilar, so if I wished to list them all as potentially contributory factors to one’s death, I might list them and many other different things. If I use the word "similar" instead, I'd be saying the opposite of what I actually mean.

It's a simple illustration of the fact that dissimilar things can have the same result, and the fact that the shared result doesn't bestow any more shared similarity amongst those things. The pertinent observation would be that death can be caused by X, Y and Z along with many other different things.

“There are hundreds of thousands of other groupings out there”

So far we’ve found one or perhaps two. By insisting that you know – somehow? – there must be “hundreds of thousands” more than that, I just know for a fact you’re lying, so why expose yourself to that criticism? Is your position then that tens of thousands of people are incapable of making the same linguistic error? Because that’s a long way off reality too.

“Well, Ben, I think we need to tell two things apart here - the ones who have had access to the ongoing discussion between you and me are very few”

Access has never been a problem. Anyone is free to “access” this particular thread, it’s just that most level-headed human beings have better things to do that concern themselves with a tiresome semantic debate that was created by one of my fixated devotees in an attempt to encourage more “battle”. It worked, and it’s alienating to most posters, but then that’s never really been your concern, and you’re still resorting to the ludicrous victory-by-numbers strategy. Fact is Fisherman, I don’t need help to make my points. You do. You’re ponderous, bombastic and inarticulate which is why a number of others have taken it upon themselves to follow-up with improved, filtered versions of your posts.

I didn’t call Vic or anyone else a follower. I said he called me correct, because I am, despite whatever else he may think about me. You call me bitterly lonely, but I’ve got you, so how can I be?

“off to more interesting issues”

No you’re not. Get your fibbing little Swedish bottom back here this instant and don’t be so disobedient. We’re aiming for 6000 posts in the Hutchinson thread and you’re jolly well going to join me.

Ben
08-29-2009, 04:50 AM
Hi Vic,

I intentionally differentiated "pedantically correct" from "correct" in particular because the reverse is not considered wrong, it is "colloquially correct".

I'd have to respectfully beg to differ. I don't see how describing dissimilar things as "similar" could ever be described as correct. Easily made and instantly forgivable perhaps (if a little unusual coming from an expert), but not correct, and I'd dispute that any draconian measures are required to make that observation.

Fisherman
08-30-2009, 04:47 PM
You´re a funny little man, Ben! Slightly pathetic, incredibly foul-mouthed, but never boring. I´m the first to admit that! Whomever identifies ice skates and hammers as being similar things simly must be something special!
They are both made of steel and may be used like weapons, therefore, they are similar! Haha!
Like one of the Boeings that flew into the WTC and a golf club, I take it? If those two parameters of your was what we should use to realize how incredibly similar these things were, then such a construction would work too, I guess?

Or does the size of the jet disallow me to use it? Ah, then let´s try a horseshoe and a bread toaster! They could both be used as weapons and they are both made of steel (yes, modern horse-shoes sometimes are). Therefore, by reasoning, nothing should stop us from dubbing them similar, correct?

You know, I am all for that reasoning! Put them in your hand, swing them against somebodys head, and there you are - you have got yourself a weapon!
But is a horseshoe and a toaster similar enough for us to immediately realize that they belong to a common group UNLESS WE ARE GIVEN THE CONTEXT?
No, they are not.

Same thing goes for age of the writer, writing space afforded and function of the pen; they are dissimilar to a significant extent on the surface, but in the context we were given, there could be no doubt what Leander meant.

Also, if we supply the man of the street with the combination bread toaster/horse shoe and ask him what connections he sees, he would probably come up with the fact that they both are made of metal. He would in all probability NOT, however, come up with the suggestion that they both could be used as weapons. It is an obvious thing that they could, but the range of other things that may ALSO be used as weapons (clubs, flower pots, pencils, spare tyres and similar things) is so wide that the suggestion would not enter most peoples minds.

On the other hand, if we ask the man on the street what the three factors:
1. Age of a writer
2. Writing space afforded
and
3. Function of the pen
would have in common, then I do not think that it would take people many seconds to come up with the insight that it all had to do with writing. Therefore, these three things portray a much more obvious commonality relating to possible areas of use than what an ice skate and a hammer does, or for that matter a bread-toaster and a horse-shoe. Meaning that a listing of age of the writer, writing space afforded, function of the pen and similar things would be an easier understandable grouping to most people than that of a bread-toaster, a horseshoe a hammer and an ice skate and similar things. That, however, does not detract from the fact that BOTH listings work eminently - if provided with a functioning context.

Yep, you are a funny little man, Benny boy! So far, you have managed to:

1. Point a leading expert in the field of handwriting out as unreliable, although nobody else commenting on his work has concurred with you. Instead the rest of us out here agree that he has been very discerning and totally reliable from the start.

2. Point the same expert out as unable to deal with syntax! This in spite of the fact that your suggestion rests totally on YOUR interpretation of what he said. If instead I, Mike, Sam and Vic are correct, you are totally wrong. And, of course, if Frank Leanders OWN assertion that you are wrong has anything to do with things - there are some of us out here that feel that he may know himself what he thinks - then you are not only wrong, but also incredibly rude.

3. Point your own interpretation of what syntax is out as superior to the wiew of miss Julien of Lund Universty. She tells us that no matter if one word in the phrase discussed points in the wrong direction - and you are, once again, the only one to think so - that still leaves us with a syntactically flawless sentence.

4. Pointing me out as "obsessed" with you (phew..!), just like you have pointed numerous other posters out as "shadows" following you. That is, you are faced with a situation where you everybody discussing the errand at hand but you say that you are wrong and where two experts in their respective fields also say that you are wrong, one of them adding that your "interpretations" are purely malicious, and instead of having the good sense of admitting that you may be a tad off the mark, you instead turn to the rest of the site and point those who criticize you out as "criminally insane and dangerously obsessed". The picture you try to sell of yourself is that of a man of such size and posture that those who dare oppose you only reach to nibble at your heels - no false timidity there!

That is an impressive list, Ben! Proud of yourself, are you? You really should not be. Although it may arouse you to try and humiliate other posters and although your wet dreams may include "fobbing me off", I think you remain in the same sort of desperate isolation in those respects as you do when it comes to rounding up disciples who agree with you that it is OK to try and diss experts who go against your wiews by implying that they are dishonest towards their obligations as discerning researchers and unable to express themselves syntactically correct.
How would you know? You would not recognize honesty if you tripped over it, just as you have a tendency of dropping a comma or two in all the wrong places.

And you call ME obsessed with YOU? I have yet to find one single post by me left uncommented on by you. I started this thread, remember? Since then, each and every time I have presented a post, you have pounced upon it. It would seem you collect all my posts like a manic squirrel - and afterwards you claim it is the other way around.
So, paraphrasing a big thinker and a discerning debater on these boards, "Get your fibbing little Brit bottom back here this instant and don’t be so disobedient!"

Bet it will work! Then I can start using your own pathetic methodology of - instead of looking at the facts and accepting the words of the experts - claiming that I am the victim of a stalker.

Then again, I am not the one who needs to resort to such tactics, am I? And why? Because I am the one who is supported by the other posters on the thread, and I am the one who have had corroboartion from the experts. That´s why, Ben. Not least, I am the one who Frank Leander has told you was correct from the outset. And therefore, I need not get bogged down in filthy accusations, lies and such things. In that respect too, you are quite, quite alone.

The very best - you need it!
Fisherman

Ben
08-31-2009, 02:48 PM
“You´re a funny little man, Ben! Slightly pathetic, incredibly foul-mouthed, but never boring. I´m the first to admit that!”

Little?

I think you’ll find I’m taller than you, Fishy-poo. But once again, I can’t help remarking upon the paradox of spending practically all your internet activity on someone you classify as slightly pathetic and incredibly foul-mouthed. The fact is, if you really considered me any of those things, I wouldn’t be worth your time, but the fact that I can command your undivided attention and willingness to subscribe to the battle-to-the-end mentality is a testament to the high regard with which you hold me, and the fear that anything I say in contrary to your own opinion would be considered incredibly persuasive.

“Whomever identifies ice skates and hammers as being similar things simly must be something special! They are both made of steel and may be used like weapons, therefore, they are similar! Haha!”

All tiresome exclamatory bombast and belligerence aside, if someone provides a fairly lengthy list of small metallic objects that could easily be hand-wielded as weapons, nobody will have any trouble identifying the central theme without having to be informed of any context. That is the similarity-barometer, if you like - if you don’t need to be told what the context in order for the central theme to be discerned, then you have "similar things". Shove an plane in there, and the context is rendered instantly more ambiguous because it isn’t a small metallic object and it certainly couldn't be wielded by hand as a weapon. Same with a toaster – shove that into the equation and an independently similar list of objects is presented with an obvious odd-one-out – an item which does not have a shape and structure that remotely lends itself to weaponry in the way that the others do. If you include either of the last mentioned items onto a list, then it becomes necessary, all of a sudden, to provide a context in the interests of clarify.

“Same thing goes for age of the writer, writing space afforded and function of the pen; they are dissimilar to a significant extent on the surface, but in the context we were given, there could be no doubt what Leander meant.”

In which case, the pertinent observation would be that there are many “different” things that could account for the handwriting, many “dissimilar” things or even simply “other”. Otherwise the sentence doesn’t make sense. If they're not similar, but have a shared result on a specific phenomenon, they don't get any more similar. They don't lose their inherent dissimilarity courtesy of that shared result, which is why you'd say that a X, Y and Z can impact on a given phenomenon along with many other different things - different being the opposite of similar.

“On the other hand, if we ask the man on the street what the three factors:
1. Age of a writer 2. Writing space afforded 3. Function of the pen would have in common, then I do not think that it would take people many seconds to come up with the insight that it all had to do with writing.”

Yes, that is because you’ve told them the context. You’ve told them what result these three dissimilar things are having on a specific phenomenon. That still doesn’t make them similar in isolation, nor does it make “and similar things” more any more applicable as an observation. Age, space, and pen function are fundamentally dissimilar. That much is obvious, and they remain so, despite the fact that they just happen to exert a similar influence on a specific phenomenon. Hemorrhoids, fire and rhinos can all hurt your bum, but I wouldn’t dream of adding “and similar things” to that list unless I was an on-line blogger in a snorkeling mask, a weak and ineffective debater who doesn’t know how to change gears from the perpetually unsuccessful “all guns blazing” approach, or a member of the Swedish Handwriting Investigation Team.

The rest of us are discerning enough to realize that dissimilar things don’t acquire any more similarity just because they happen to have the same result on a given thing.

“Yep, you are a funny little man, Benny boy!”

Again, I’m almost certainly taller then you, so by all means continue with the “little” references and invite further ridicule.

“Point a leading expert in the field of handwriting out as unreliable, although nobody else commenting on his work has concurred with you.”

But it is a fact on record that he gave conflicting stances, so any protestations to the contrary are an exercise in futility, despite your continued and rather desperate appeals to the “rest of us” as though there is some huge army of Fish-supporters. He specifically referred to dissimilarities that don’t concern amplitude in his first neutral post, but later stated that there were no differences other than those concerned with amplitude. That’s an irrefutable contradiction, and no amount of Leander-hassling will change that, nor will attempting to google your way out of the problem. I dare you to start a repetition war along those lines, though.

And speaking of repetition:

“Point your own interpretation of what syntax is out as superior to the wiew of miss Julien of Lund Universty.”

I didn’t. Here’s what I said: The sentence was syntactically incorrect if the intention behind the sentence was to convey the impression that there were many possible explanations for the differences between handwriting samples, since the word similar, when appended to the end of the sentence, gave the impression that the aforementioned “things” were similar to eachother. His use of syntax (which concerns the structure of sentences and the placement of words within that sentence) was responsible for conveying the opposite impression of what he allegedly “meant”.

As such, the confusion is inextricably linked with syntax – the placement of words within a sentence. The placement of the word “similar” conveyed the opposite impression to the one intended by the source.

“That is, you are faced with a situation where you everybody discussing the errand at hand but you say that you are wrong”

I’ve been told I was “correct” actually, and by one of the names you keep referencing in order to get me to say something critical of them so they can join the semantic squabble you created. I know that’s painful to you, but it’s a fact on record. Let’s just engage once again with this absurd fallacy of appealing to others in order to bolster and flawed and desperate position. You are resorting to the tedious and immature fallacy that X, Y and Z agrees with me, so that increases the chances of me being right. It’s exceptionally gauche and short-sighted if you think about it, since you know full well that others agree with my opposing stance, it’s just that most people have neither the time nor the inclination to do battle in a tedious semantic thread that advances nothing in the grander scheme of things, except perhaps a few undeserved egos. Occasionally your bombastic approach can be a bit of a liability for those who agree with you which is why a few of them reluctantly wade in from time to time, but that’s no excuse to keep naming them and claiming they all somehow “gang up” against my view. That’s just silly.

The difference is that your bombastic, exclamatory ranting approach to discussion necessitates the input of others who agree with you to ensure that the salient observations aren’t obscured by your posting rubble. You need help to make your points. I don’t. That’s the difference. Of course, if we’re playing the numbers game, shouldn’t your entertaining logic dictate that you relinquish your amazingly unpopular Tabram-scavanger theory?

“And you call ME obsessed with YOU? I have yet to find one single post by me left uncommented on by you. I started this thread, remember?”

Yes, you did, and it was in the interests of picking another fight with me that you did so, which is your cherished pursuit. If it wasn’t the reason you joined Casebook, it’s clearly your reason for sticking around. So yes, it is rather indicative of an obsession with me. I don’t go around starting pointless semantic threads designed to fuel your “Prove Ben wrong” agenda, and I don’t photograph my kids emulating Kelly’s death pose for that reason. Even at the start of this thread you were pleading for supporters, despite them making it clear in so many words that they didn’t share your agenda and certainly weren’t interested in starting another round of cyber ping-pong. You were dissatisfied with the lack of interest, so attempted to reignite the war, mentioning my name at every opportunity in an attempt to goad me. Despite an awareness of what your game was, I responded with courtesy – a brief thank you.

But a thank you wasn’t sufficient for a Swede in battle-mode, and battle-mode is just not your forte, which is why you’re often encouraged to reel yourself in. Of course, I know you’ll never do any such thing, which is why I’m counting on you to help me make it 6000 posts in the Hutchinson forums. Let’s make it another Hutch in the 1911 census. Whenever you try to engage me in battle, I will respond, Fisherman, and unlike you, I won’t lie about leaving the thread.

Follow me to perdition’s flames and beyond, while I thank my luck stars that it's you that's doing the following and not a creditable debating opponent.

Fisherman
08-31-2009, 02:56 PM
Ben:

"I think you’ll find I’m taller than you, Fishy-poo."

I was not referring to physical size, Ben.

"Follow me to perdition’s flames and beyond, Fisherman."

Got better things to do! But I´ll look in on you every now and then!

The best,
Fisherman

caz
09-22-2009, 07:05 PM
About Pakistani schools:
“Schools also place a lot of importance on school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails and similar things.”

And what could they not care less about? The shoes, obviously, since they are wildly dissimilar to the school uniform – they may be tattered and torn. The schoolbags, too, may be dirty and in pieces. The school books too, of course. And you may arrive at every lesson with your bottom dipped in pig urine and with a face strewn with horse manure – since neither of these things are included in “school uniforms, neat hair, clean cut nails” - or anything similar to clean cut nails. A bottom is distinctly dissimilar to a nail, just like a face is dissimilar to a school uniform.

The best,
Fisherman

Sorry, I've only got as far as the above on this thread and Ben and Fish already have me in fits. :laugh4:

This topic just gets funnier and funnier - thanks to Ben's uniquely eccentric way of interpreting the written word. The funniest thing of all is that English is not even Fish's first language.

But I'm getting used to clever Swedish linguists because my daughter's best friend from uni is one. They both got firsts in English Language & Communication, but the Swedish lass beat my daughter by a couple of percentage points.

Fish beats Ben into a soggy pulp here.

Love,

Caz
X

Ben
09-22-2009, 07:38 PM
Fish beats Ben into a soggy pulp here

Oh, I'm just bloodied and cowering in corner in the face of defeat from that masterfully clever Swedish linguist.

All he needed to do was mention the bowel movements of farmyard animals, and I'm well and truly on the ropes.

See, this is what I find so entertaining about internet cyber-stalkers. They may not have had much consideration for one another previously, but when they join forces against their mutual target of obsession, it becomes a case of egging the other on and convincing themselves of the patently false.

Of course Caz knows that what she said wasn't true. All she's doing is trying to encourage another aggressive round of cyber ping-pong, and once she moves onto some other poor bastard to fixate upon (it used to be a couple of gents from the Maybrick diary threads, if anyone can be arsed to remember), she'll be stuck with this post on record.

Until then, it is my embarrassed pleasure to fulfil my role as matchmaker.

caz
09-23-2009, 06:21 PM
Hi Ben,

Yes, and what happened to those two gents? They kept the kettle boiling for so long that in the end they couldn't stand the heat they created in the kitchen. One admitted on the boards to being an OCD sufferer so the poor dear is forced to come back once a year on a certain date or his anxiety levels would go right off the scale. I leave him alone to get it off his chest in his own special way on his own special day. Bless. :)


You really have a boner for Ben pretty badly, don't you?

Well well, it’s worse than I thought. I observed earlier today on the Leander Analysis thread that you would be better off not peppering your posts with inappropriate sexual insults and accusations, and what do I see here but more examples of your mucky-mindedness. If you took the ink blot test, I bet you’d accuse the psychiatrist of coming on to you with all his sauciest pictures. :lol:


I think you’ll find I’m taller than you, Fishy-poo.

You said on the other thread that calling him that was a come-on. Did you mean it in the pedantically correct sense, the colloquially correct sense or the politically correct, but inappropriately sexual sense? :anxious:

You wrote:

‘I cannot possibly read "age, function of the pen, available space and similar things" and say to myself: Aha, he must mean similar to, I dunno, levels of anxiety! I cannot make the connection because levels of anxiety isn't "similar" to any of the three specifically cited differences. If on the hand, he had mentioned "other" things to those three, that would neturally [sic] encompass levels of anxiety. It's less restrictive.’

Well how about using that fertile imagination of yours and trying this for size: writer’s age, how well the pen was functioning at the time, available space to write in and similar things that could have affected the physical appearance of the handwriting?

That is, after all, what Leander was describing here, wasn’t it? Some things can surely be left unsaid if one is communicating with intelligent adults who are not only fully aware of the nature of the communication but have enough common sense and personal experience of signing their own name - and writing by hand generally - to know what factors have had an effect on the appearance or style of their own handwriting, and to imagine what other things could affect it too, without being spoon-fed a long and patronising list of all the possible variations involving one human hand at different stages of its life, picking up pens of varying quality, to write with different inks on different surfaces, under different conditions and circumstances.

Leander specified just three of the more obvious influences on the physical process of writing by hand with pen and ink that could apply here, leaving Fish and others to use their own experience of being human and literate to come up with other factors that could similarly have had an effect on that physical process in the event of Toppy being the witness.

Leander’s failure to mention personal style choices, for example, or physical, mental and emotional state at the time of writing (which would cover anxiety levels and a multitude of other conditions) does not entitle you to conclude that he rules those things out as having no possible influence. ‘Age…and similar things’ would cover it all nicely in any case, since age has its own direct influence on style changes as well as physical*, mental and emotional function, and they all come under the general heading of 'who, when and why'.

[*I know from personal experience of twice having had an overactive thyroid, once in 2001 and again in 2006 - and recovering each time after a course of tablets - that this condition, before the treatment kicked in each time, had a profound effect on the appearance of my handwriting.]

Similarly, anything to do with the physical writing implement and related materials can come under the 'what and how' umbrella that covers ‘pen function…and similar things’, while all aspects of the place and situation in which the writing took place would be part of the 'where', that covers ‘available space and similar things’.

We can therefore give Leander the benefit of the doubt and assume his language was both correct and concise, implying one or more things similar to age (who); one or more things similar to pen function (what and how) and one or more things similar to available space (where), giving us an absolute minimum of six potential influences to consider.

You addressed this gem to Victor:

‘You've heard of people describing things as similar to several other things that have no similarity whatsoever with eachother? [sic] I find it curious that nobody has ever provided an example of that phenomenon.’

Well let me do it for you now. You should have come on our school journey to Devon and joined in the treasure hunt. Ooh what fun I had pairing up with Elizabeth Jones, and finding all twelve items on the list, including a Dawlish Warren bus ticket, a feather, a four-leaf clover and other similar things - like, ooh I don't know, use your imagination - a page from a newspaper? a razor shell? a daisy chain? Only six more items to think of that would fit the bill.

But I guess none of this will penetrate, will it, Mr Malaprop? You’ll just do your utmost to claim the upmost (= uppermost) ground as usual. ;)

http://grammartips.homestead.com/utmost.html

Love,

Caz
X

Ben
11-12-2009, 04:02 PM
Can't believe I missed this one...

The following post is addressed to Caz, and if anyone doesn’t think she has the ability to respond for herself without help, by all means chime in and respond for her. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be offended if the casual reader just skimmed through this as it consists almost entirely of repetition in response to yet another attempt to revive a done-to-the-death Hutchinson debate. Apologies in advance to combatants and casual lurkers alike.

“One admitted on the boards to being an OCD sufferer so the poor dear is forced to come back once a year on a certain date or his anxiety levels would go right off the scale.”

Ah, so we’re stooping to the all time low of ridiculing the mental disorders of others? Oh well, at least I now have a gem to present to the next well-meaning numpty who chimes in to defend your honour. I’ll keep in it reserve for the next time your Ben-baiting conduct elicits any more pugnacious commentary from me. The idea that you created so much heat for them that they were forced to back off may be your delusion, but it hardly reflected reality. Regardless of who you think you’re intimidating, it isn’t going to work as a debating strategy.

“I observed earlier today on the Leander Analysis thread that you would be better off not peppering your posts with inappropriate sexual insults and accusations, and what do I see here but more examples of your mucky-mindedness.”

Sorry, but if you live by the keyboard you die by the keyboard, and if you’re hell-bent of following me onto every thread in which I have participated with the same brand of sarcastic, combative, unsuccessfully gainsaying dogma, you have to learn to reap what you sow. If you find anything I’ve said excessively distasteful, it doesn’t make sense to spend more internet activity on me that any other Casebook poster. My hypnotic ability to coerce your lengthy emoticon-laden response to nearly every thread I post on suggests that you don’t find them, or me, particularly repulsive at all.

“Well how about using that fertile imagination of yours and trying this for size: writer’s age, how well the pen was functioning at the time, available space to write in and similar things that could have affected the physical appearance of the handwriting?”

Oh, please.

If you’d really read this thread from the beginning as you claimed, you would have noticed that this was all discussed in painful detail already.

Let us firstly deal with the “similar things” observation. Well, for starters, it is important to observe that none of the cited possible explanations for the differences had any similarity with each other, and as such, it stands to reason that the other unmentioned explanations could only have mean “similar” to the last mentioned difference for the sentence to make sense, and the last mentioned difference was “function of the pen”. Now just what, one wonders, could be a “similar thing” to the “function of the pen”? Well, there are bound to be a few things, but certainly not an infinite number, and certainly not enough to validate the observation that there were “many” differences.

If I provide a list of "things" that include hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and tornados, you'd have no trouble recognising the inherent similarity and the obvious theme - natural disasters. Nor would you have any trouble thinking of "similar things" that also belong to that central theme.

We discovered from subsequent examples that "similar things" was used in precisely this context, i.e. in reference to objects, events and behavioural traits that share an obvious similarity with each other even in isolation from the given context. If you say that cancer, a heart attack, a stroke and similar things can result in death, the sentence would make sense, but if you replace cancer with "charging rhino" and heart attack with "enemy" fire, the "and similar things" is no longer applicable. You'd observe that all three might easily result in death along with many other different things, and so avoid confusion.

You can describe things as "similar" if you are able to identify both the central theme and "similar things" even in the absence of a specific context, and a list of natural disasters fir the bill perfectly in this regard. Age and "available space" simply do not. They are not similar to each other, so it makes better sense to say that these explanations might have come into play along with other/different things - not "similar", because they aren't.

Age is simply not a "similar thing" to pen function, but if he had stated that "other things" may account for the differences, a great many other possibilities are encompassed in addition to the sentence starting to make a good deal more sense. The “similar” reference effectively ruled out anything that could not be considered similar to age, function of the pen, and available space. If he wanted to rule other things in, he could easily have stated that there were other things, different things, but by using the expression similar, he restricts the options to a fairly limited set of “things” that could not, inferentially, be described as many.

“and writing by hand generally - to know what factors have had an effect on the appearance or style of their own handwriting”

But we’re not talking about our “own” handwriting, and nor was Leander. He was referring specifically to the explanations that HE thought COULD have accounted for the dissimilarities in THAT particular case. It wasn’t a generalized observation concerning the effects that might affect the average person’s handwriting. His observations were quite clearly Toppy-specific, and it really makes sense if you give it some serious thought: is it reasonable, for example, to argue that “surfaces” would prompt the writer to end his signature with an upwards-pointing n-tail? No, which is why he didn’t mention it, and which is why it would be silly to use it as one of the unnamed “similar things”.

Again, this is not an attempt to antagonise those who have battled this out with me previously. I respect their differing stances even if I can’t agree with them. What I do not respect, and what will not be permitted to pass without robust commentary, is the inflammatory goading of someone with no sincere interest in the topic, but who only wishes to stir up further animosity.

“But I guess none of this will penetrate, will it, Mr Malaprop? You’ll just do your utmost to claim the upmost (= uppermost) ground as usual. http://grammartips.homestead.com/utmost.html”

Glad to see you’ve taken the trouble to correct a few of your more outrageous gaffes. I hope you found the website instructive, and you were finally enlightened to the fact that “upmost” is indeed an abbreviation of “uppermost”, which is something completely different to “utmost”. I was wondering when the penny would eventually drop.

scarletpimpernel
11-21-2009, 05:58 PM
Ben.

Stalked means being hunted but with you it is hard to see who is the stalking horse !

You talk about being chased by others, a touch of paranoia perhaps ?

Ben
11-21-2009, 06:14 PM
Well, let's see, Pimpster:

This would be the second dormant Hutchinson thread you've attempted to revive today by addressing me personally and telling me, in essence, what a thoroughly bad egg I am, despite your complaint that off-topic arguing is a hinderance to learning and sensible discussion.

Don't you go justifying that paranoia of mine now.

scarletpimpernel
11-21-2009, 06:33 PM
Ben,

It is clear that it is impossible to discuss anything about the Hutchinson suspect here because you are more interested in interrupting the discussion to talk about yourself. With you, it is always, ME,ME,ME the hell with the others who want to hear about this suspect and stick with the subject we are suppose to be discussing, which is Hutchinson Remember ??

Ben
11-21-2009, 06:39 PM
Oh, for cying out loud.

Look, here are two very interesting Hutchinson threads, currently in session.

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=3377

http://forum.casebook.org/showthread.php?t=3367

I have been an active participant both, and in neither do I talk about "myself". Nor was there any unrelated squabbles or insults. You'll observe, in addition, that these two threads have far more to do with Hutchinson the suspect than the ones you've been reading.

Best regards,
Ben

caz
03-26-2010, 01:08 PM
Can't believe I missed this one...

[...blah blah blah blah -stick fingers in ears - blah blah - don't actually read or absorb any of the post I'm responding to - blah blah blah etc and so on and so forth - blah blah...]

...I hope you found the website instructive, and you were finally enlightened to the fact that “upmost” is indeed an abbreviation of “uppermost”, which is something completely different to “utmost”. I was wondering when the penny would eventually drop.

I'm rather sorry I missed this one, Ben. Could have done with the laugh at the time.

Loved the punchline, where you fondly imagined it was me who misused "upmost". It all started because you used it in a sentence where only "utmost" would do, and then tried to claim they meant the same thing! You don't know Caz very well if you thought she'd let you get away with that. :rolleyes:

Toodle pip - for another few months.

Love,

Caz
X