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Dear Boss Letter Hinting an America

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  • Steadmund Brand
    replied
    I have to say that I am an American and I often use "Shan't".... Maybe it's regional.. or maybe because I live so close to the Canadian border who knows... but it *IS* a word I (and many people I know) use.

    Steadmund Brand

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  • Dane_F
    replied
    Being American I can confirm I have heard shan't. But only in reference to I shan't my pants. All joking aside it certainly isn't common now. Maybe in the 1880s it was different though.

    Quick test to know if Americans use a word or not. "Does it should proper?" Then no, Americans don't use it. You should see all the remarks I get simply for using Sir and Ma'am here. People are shocked.

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  • Rosella
    replied
    Shan't goes right back colloquially to the 1660's and I agree, it seems more British than American.

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  • RockySullivan
    replied
    Why is shan't considered an american phrase? I can't picture an american saying shan't. Shun't perhaps. Of course things were different in 1888. But too me shan't is something I've only heard British folk say

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  • lynn cates
    replied
    American implication?

    Hello All. Found this in "The Diary of the Parnell Commission." If the implication of the "Dear Boss" is, indeed, American, perhaps it is Irish American?

    The discussion of red ink and thumb print are eyebrow raisers.

    (I apologise for the tiny print and format. This is from Google books. Author is John Macdonald.)

    Book link is here:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=irP...page&q&f=false

    Cheers.
    LC
    Attached Files

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  • sleekviper
    replied
    Hello Lynn,
    Out of the way, or still had more to do? Oh Lynn, have a question, hold on a bit.

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  • lynn cates
    replied
    gamble

    Hello Steven. Indeed. But would it have done so had the letter lain in a drawer? But surely it would have done just that without an additional murder/s?

    Perhaps the letter was merely a gamble, hoping that there would be further activity? (Rather like keeping an obituary on file?)

    Cheers.
    LC

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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    Hello, Lynn
    The point was to increase newspaper circulation. And it worked.

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

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  • lynn cates
    replied
    point

    Hello Steven. He could have. But what, then, was the point of the letter?

    Cheers.
    LC

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  • lynn cates
    replied
    insider information

    Hello Joe. Quite possible. Of course, whoever wrote the letter must have known 1. that the killings would recommence and 2. that the perpetrator of 2-3 weeks before was out of the way.

    Cheers.
    LC

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  • Steven Russell
    replied
    To me, the first sentence is the telling one: "The impression that the murderer is an American still prevails in London".

    Is this a reference to Wynne Baxter's story of the American womb-hunter? The author of "Dear Boss" could have latched on to this.

    Best wishes,
    Steve.

    Good find though, Mike.
    Last edited by Steven Russell; 06-21-2011, 08:41 PM.

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  • sleekviper
    replied
    hello Lynn,
    Maybe, if the writer had no knowledge of the actual murder rate, he would feel the need to state that he was not done? As Colin thoroughly has pointed out, England was not a murder capital by any means; the kill rate is extremely low during the years surrounding the murders, so someone writing this from a different location may have assumed a need to point out what crimes could be associated to what person. I would think that a news person in England would not need to make such a distinction since they would already know that cut throats is not an everyday occurrence.

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  • lynn cates
    replied
    motivation

    Hello Chris. Yes, the diction in the letter does sound American. I am not sure, however, about the practical joker aspect. The purport of the letter seems to be 1. to explain that the recent detention of a suspect was all wrong, and 2. to announce a return to action.

    Time was when I regarded the letter as a newsman's way to increase circulation. But I'm not sure that is an effective sales promotion device--whilst lying tucked away in a drawer. It seems that the writer is trying to join the first 2 killings with a projected third one. All of which makes me think that the third (Eddowes) had NOTHING to do with the first 2, else why belabour the point?

    Question is, Who stands to profit from such a scenario? What's the motivation?

    Cheers.
    LC

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  • ChrisGeorge
    replied
    Fine. Thanks, Mike. Not sure what is new here though because it has long been said that "Dear Boss" is an Americanism. The article just seems to be talking generally about the letters supposedly received by the Central News Agency and reflecting on the language in the letters, including the fact that the writer seemed to be more of a practical joker than a killer.

    All the best

    Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • mklhawley
    started a topic Dear Boss Letter Hinting an America

    Dear Boss Letter Hinting an America

    Greetings all,

    This came from The Sun October 7, 1888:

    Click image for larger version

Name:	The Sun Oct 7 1888.jpeg
Views:	1
Size:	58.2 KB
ID:	670723

    Mike
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