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The English Language and the purpose of a caveat.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by OneRound View Post
    Hi Herlock,

    I know next to nothing about this whole case compared to you and your fellow Ripper experts. However, as a company secretary for many years, I know a bit about minuting meetings at which some invited specialist has spoken where I've struggled to follow the exact drift of his words. ''Sometimes such a speaker might be characteristically nervous and/or intimidated by the unusual setting he finds himself in resulting in ambiguous or even contradictory comments''. A friendly query during the meeting or an informal word at the end can often sort out such uncertainties.

    I recognise such a solution is sadly long gone as regards the words of Doctor Phillip which I find to be unclear. However, I would not get too hung up on exactly what he said as there is no guarantee that is exactly what he meant!

    Meant helpfully although probably not.

    Best regards,
    OneRound
    Such would also be the case with the witnesses .

    'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

    Comment


    • #17
      This would explain the confusion about Richardson’s testimony regarding the knife. Clearly it would have been nonsense for him to have said, in effect, ‘I cut a piece of leather from my boot with this knife but I couldn’t cut a piece of leather from my boot with this knife because it wasn’t sharp enough.” It’s not even a lie that served a purpose and it certainly wasn’t something that the coroner wouldn’t have noticed and pulled him up on. So it’s obvious that he’d meant that he cut a piece of leather but couldn’t do a good enough job so he had to complete the job at the market using a sharper knife. He’d first used the old knife, a) because he had it with him, and b) he wouldn’t have known that it wouldn’t do a good enough job until he tried it. We even have it written that he’d already tried unsuccessfully the previous day to repair his boot only to find that it still hurt when he began his walk to work. Proving that an attempted repair could be unsuccessful.

      Just by allowing for transcription error or omission and by using common sense we can arrive at a sensible, realistic answer that doesn’t require a witness saying something that would have been gibberish or a Coroner and his jury being idiots.
      Last edited by Herlock Sholmes; 08-25-2022, 08:51 AM.
      Regards

      Sir Herlock Sholmes

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

      Comment


      • #18
        The "I should say" seems to have been overlooked here. It suggests to me that he is immediately not committing to the two hours minimum, it's almost another caveat before he starts.

        I should say two hours, but I'm not. The subsequent caveat explains why.

        So he's giving an opening statement to lay the foundation of not committing to his upcoming estimate. He then gives his estimate. He then explains why he isn't committing.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Dickere View Post
          The "I should say" seems to have been overlooked here. It suggests to me that he is immediately not committing to the two hours minimum, it's almost another caveat before he starts.

          I should say two hours, but I'm not. The subsequent caveat explains why.

          So he's giving an opening statement to lay the foundation of not committing to his upcoming estimate. He then gives his estimate. He then explains why he isn't committing.
          bingo! even a child could understand.
          "Is all that we see or seem
          but a dream within a dream?"

          -Edgar Allan Poe


          "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
          quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

          -Frederick G. Abberline

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Dickere View Post
            The "I should say" seems to have been overlooked here. It suggests to me that he is immediately not committing to the two hours minimum, it's almost another caveat before he starts.

            I should say two hours, but I'm not. The subsequent caveat explains why.

            So he's giving an opening statement to lay the foundation of not committing to his upcoming estimate. He then gives his estimate. He then explains why he isn't committing.
            Hi Dickere,

            In modern times it might be interpreted that way, but in 1888 it meant quite the opposite.
            From the Cambridge dictionary:

            Meaning of I should hope/say/think so/not in English

            Used to emphasize your agreement or your opinion:
            "Will Beth be there?" "I should hope not! She was so horrible to you."
            "She loved the gift." "I should think she did - you paid enough for it!"

            Cheers, George
            “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

            “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

              bingo! even a child could understand.
              Quick, find a child and have them explain it to you. (An oldie but a goodie, I couldn't resist).
              “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

              “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                Hi Dickere,

                In modern times it might be interpreted that way, but in 1888 it meant quite the opposite.
                From the Cambridge dictionary:

                Meaning of I should hope/say/think so/not in English

                Used to emphasize your agreement or your opinion:
                "Will Beth be there?" "I should hope not! She was so horrible to you."
                "She loved the gift." "I should think she did - you paid enough for it!"

                Cheers, George
                I see what you're saying, George, but the scenarios aren't the same.

                Those are responsive answers within a normal conversation, well examples of such. At the inquest, there was no need for an opening "I should say". If he was certain of two hours minimum he would have simply said so, but he didn't. He got his caveat in first, and explained why later.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dickere View Post

                  I see what you're saying, George, but the scenarios aren't the same.

                  Those are responsive answers within a normal conversation, well examples of such. At the inquest, there was no need for an opening "I should say". If he was certain of two hours minimum he would have simply said so, but he didn't. He got his caveat in first, and explained why later.
                  Hi Dickere,

                  Those are only examples, and it is your prerogative to believe what you like, but my readings from the time indicate that "I should say" or "I should think" is the author saying "of this I am certain". It's a matter of knowledge of the language at the time it was spoken, particularly by the upper classes.

                  Cheers, George
                  Last edited by GBinOz; 08-27-2022, 07:59 AM.
                  “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                  “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                    Hi Dickere,

                    Those are only examples, and it is your prerogative to believe what you like, but my readings from the time indicate that "I should say" or "I should think" is the author saying "of this I am certain". It's a matter of knowledge of the language at the time it was spoken, particularly by the upper classes.

                    Cheers, George
                    aww so your the expert on victorian language now george and Dickere hasnt a clue? lol.
                    "Is all that we see or seem
                    but a dream within a dream?"

                    -Edgar Allan Poe


                    "...the man and the peaked cap he is said to have worn
                    quite tallies with the descriptions I got of him."

                    -Frederick G. Abberline

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Abby Normal View Post

                      aww so your the expert on victorian language now george and Dickere hasnt a clue? lol.
                      Yes, and this is why I don't post much. At best you get something along the lines of you're wrong, with nothing to back it up. And it's all downhill from there.

                      I appreciate George's view differs, no problem.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Dickere View Post

                        Yes, and this is why I don't post much. At best you get something along the lines of you're wrong, with nothing to back it up. And it's all downhill from there.

                        I appreciate George's view differs, no problem.
                        Hi Dickere,

                        Apologies if I have insulted you. That was not my intention. As I said, I have read literature from the period, and my grandparents were born in the late 1800s, so I grew up hearing these expressions which, at the time, didn't seem odd at all. I thought to give you the benefit of my experience, but it is your choice as to whether you accept it.

                        Cheers, George
                        “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                        “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                          Hi Dickere,

                          Apologies if I have insulted you. That was not my intention. As I said, I have read literature from the period, and my grandparents were born in the late 1800s, so I grew up hearing these expressions which, at the time, didn't seem odd at all. I thought to give you the benefit of my experience, but it is your choice as to whether you accept it.

                          Cheers, George
                          Not insulted at all George, no problem. Your input always seems fair.

                          I still feel conversation differs from giving factual inquest evidence where additional flowery words would be omitted.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Well, it’s a close run thing.
                            Regards

                            Sir Herlock Sholmes

                            “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                            Comment

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