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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    No it doesn't. Don't be so literal, man. It says he said it but in reality the words he used may well have been very different (as I illustrate with my example).
    That's what it means. If you want to say he said to his wife something other than what he recorded in his diary it's up to you, but his diary records that he told her it was a one off instance.

    Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
    If the term 'one-off' was ever used in the US in relation to cotton brokering, then 'one-off instance' may well spring to his mind in the moment of writing down his recollection of events.
    And if my aunt had cojones she'd be my uncle.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
      I have searched many databases and if you actually do it you can see with your own eyes that a phrase which does not exist prior to the Second World War and is never used suddenly explodes into life in the 1960s and 70s.
      Quite so, David. I did something similar a while back, and found a similar mid/late-20th century explosion for "one-off", "spreading mayhem" and "top myself", and there may have been others. For anyone prior to the 1960s to write down any one of these phrases (in the sense used in the diary) would be remarkable, but having three or more such phrases in the same short "book" really stretches the bounds of possibility. In my view, the presence of these phrases, alone or in combination, are a very strong indicator that the diary was forged in the latter half of the last century. My personal opinion is that it was written no earlier than the 1970s, and probably later.
      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

      Comment


      • The Times newspaper is searchable from 1785.

        In 159 years there is not a single use of the phrase "one off".

        The first time it appears is in an article entitled "The Making of Craftsmen" on 15 May 1944 which states:

        "The shop must on no account be used as a cheap production unit…it can be used to some extent for the production of "one off" jobs for experimental or other purposes."

        There are about nine or ten uses of the phrase in the 1950s (mainly in engineering related advertisements) but during the 1960s you can find about one use of the phrase a month and then during the 1970s about one a week, sometimes one every other day, in a wide number of contexts. In September 1969, according to the TV listings page, there was actually a TV programme by Thames entitled "One off" in which Fred Dinage interviewed various (presumably unique) individuals.

        So the expression was certainly in common use during the 1960s and is virtually everywhere in the 1970s.

        But the key point is that between 1785 and 1944 this very useful expression is never mentioned once in any part of the newspaper. That must tell you something.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
          Quite so, David. I did something similar a while back, and found a similar mid/late-20th century explosion for "one-off", "spreading mayhem" and "top myself", and there may have been others. For anyone prior to the 1960s to write down any one of these phrases (in the sense used in the diary) would be remarkable, but having three or more such phrases in the same short "book" really stretches the bounds of possibility. In my view, the presence of these phrases, alone or in combination, are a very strong indicator that the diary was forged in the latter half of the last century. My personal opinion is that it was written no earlier than the 1970s, and probably later.
          I haven't searched for the other two Sam but I don't have any reason to doubt what you say.

          On "one off instance" alone I would be conservative and say that this phrase would not have been used before the Second World War.

          However, on the basis of Mike Barrett ordering a Victorian Diary with blank pages in March 1992, my own personal opinion is that the Diary must have been written within a short period in March/April 1992 (although the composition, i.e. initial drafts, might have been earlier than that).

          Comment


          • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
            That's what it means. If you want to say he said to his wife something other than what he recorded in his diary it's up to you, but his diary records that he told her it was a one off instance.
            My wife has just taken our dogs out to the garden. I said to her not to slip on the small bridge over our stream (it's very frosty tonight).

            What I actually said was "Careful on the sleepers, love". The bridge is made of old railway sleepers.

            And if my aunt had cojones she'd be my uncle.
            And what exactly does that have to do with the price of fish?
            Iconoclast

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              My wife has just taken our dogs out to the garden. I said to her not to slip on the small bridge over our stream (it's very frosty tonight).

              What I actually said was "Careful on the sleepers, love". The bridge is made of old railway sleepers.
              The phrase "I said to her not to slip on the small bridge over our stream" is not a natural equivalent of the phrase "Don't slip on the small bridge over our stream, I said".

              I suggest that when you come to write your diary later this evening you will record the comment as "Careful on the sleepers, love, I said".

              Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              And what exactly does that have to do with the price of fish?
              "If the term 'one-off' was ever used in the US in relation to cotton brokering." But was it? Of course not. If my aunt had cojones she'd be my uncle.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                The Times newspaper is searchable from 1785.

                In 159 years there is not a single use of the phrase "one off".

                The first time it appears is in an article entitled "The Making of Craftsmen" on 15 May 1944 which states:

                "The shop must on no account be used as a cheap production unit…it can be used to some extent for the production of "one off" jobs for experimental or other purposes."

                There are about nine or ten uses of the phrase in the 1950s (mainly in engineering related advertisements) but during the 1960s you can find about one use of the phrase a month and then during the 1970s about one a week, sometimes one every other day, in a wide number of contexts. In September 1969, according to the TV listings page, there was actually a TV programme by Thames entitled "One off" in which Fred Dinage interviewed various (presumably unique) individuals.

                So the expression was certainly in common use during the 1960s and is virtually everywhere in the 1970s.

                But the key point is that between 1785 and 1944 this very useful expression is never mentioned once in any part of the newspaper. That must tell you something.
                David, I'm presuming that the phrase appears as you have transcribed it, in inverted commas, in the 1944 article? That is in itself quite revealing don't you think? Indicative of a relatively little-known recent coinage.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Henry Flower View Post
                  David, I'm presuming that the phrase appears as you have transcribed it, in inverted commas, in the 1944 article? That is in itself quite revealing don't you think? Indicative of a relatively little-known recent coinage.
                  Yes, it is correctly transcribed and most of the early uses of the phrase are indeed found wrapped in inverted commas but not every single instance so, for that reason, it's not really possible to say that because it doesn't have inverted commas in the diary it can't have been written in 1888.

                  What I do say, however, is that it can't have been written in 1888 because such an expression as "one off instance" was not known in the English language and would not be known until at least fifty years later.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                    Is it possible that the cotton broker knew the term 'one-off' and used it in a journal entry intended only for himself, using the combination 'one-off instance' possibly for one of (if not the) first recorded occasion in history?

                    As he was au fait with US ways, was this a term he could have come across over the pond long before it was used over here?.
                    No, Ike. If you will look at my post 2337 in this thread, you will see that Americans are baffled by the phrase "one off" now appearing in use, and think it comes from shortening "one-of-a-kind". A columnist in the New York Times has explained the term's provenance as English.
                    Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
                    ---------------
                    Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
                    ---------------

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      The phrase "I said to her not to slip on the small bridge over our stream" is not a natural equivalent of the phrase "Don't slip on the small bridge over our stream, I said".
                      And yet "I'm sorry, that will never happen again" is very much a natural equivalent of "A one-off instance, I said".

                      Intriguing ...
                      Iconoclast

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                        And yet "I'm sorry, that will never happen again" is very much a natural equivalent of "A one-off instance, I said".

                        Intriguing ...
                        What is intriguing is that you didn't write it properly. Presumably what you wanted to say is that Maybrick could have written:

                        "I apologised, that will never happen again, I said".

                        But you must recognize that would be him recording that he used the words "That will never happen again".

                        As we know, instead he wrote:

                        "I apologised, a one off instance, I said".

                        That is him recording that he told his wife it was a one off instance.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                          What is intriguing is that you didn't write it properly. Presumably what you wanted to say is that Maybrick could have written:

                          "I apologised, that will never happen again, I said".

                          But you must recognize that would be him recording that he used the words "That will never happen again".

                          As we know, instead he wrote:

                          "I apologised, a one off instance, I said".

                          That is him recording that he told his wife it was a one off instance.
                          Oh David, come on - not every person in the world is a teacher or a natural equivalent (a pedant). Maybrick was a cotton broker with no obvious evidence of a stellar education. In his mind (as indeed in mine), there would be no concerns over how accurate he was being when writing that he said it was a 'one-off instance' when - in reality - he actually said "I apologise, that will never happen again".

                          You can't win an argument of this nature by citing the exact meaning of grammar as some sort of unequivocal truth about events.

                          Repeating your point, David (as you have done many times now in the last few days), does not make it any more true.
                          Iconoclast

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            Oh David, come on - not every person in the world is a teacher or a natural equivalent (a pedant). Maybrick was a cotton broker with no obvious evidence of a stellar education. In his mind (as indeed in mine), there would be no concerns over how accurate he was being when writing that he said it was a 'one-off instance' when - in reality - he actually said "I apologise, that will never happen again".

                            You can't win an argument of this nature by citing the exact meaning of grammar as some sort of unequivocal truth about events.

                            Repeating your point, David (as you have done many times now in the last few days), does not make it any more true.
                            Ike, you're labouring your point a little, and the fact is David is merely taking the diarist at his word. Your position depends on supposing something that has no supporting evidence. David doesn't have to make any suppositions, he's merely letting the text speak for itself.

                            And anyway, you're still left with the same problem; whether or not he used it in conversation or merely (you guess) substituted it in his diary for what he actually said, he's using a phrase that very likely didn't exist in that context for many decades after.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              You may recall that I tried to ask Caz why Mike and Ann could not have jointly written the diary but I didn't receive a satisfactory answer (in my opinion).
                              Too many reasons for me to list, really. But what good would it do in any case? I could whisper 'Battlecrease evidence' in your shell-like again, David, but then you can't consider or comment on that, can you? Except I thought I saw a post in which you were considering it. Did you not suggest a scenario whereby the book may have come out of the right house, but before the diary had yet been written in it? Forgive me if I misread that, I'm still gamely trying to catch up with older posts for now. But I did wonder if this was not just one more effort to keep Mike in the frame by whatever means, despite having not the faintest clue what possibilities the Battlecrease evidence might leave open or close down, or what it might prove or not prove, disprove or fail to disprove.

                              Have you actually worked through such a scenario in your mind to see if it could have legs? Remember, nobody involved tried to claim the book - with or without its contents - came out of the Maybrick house, and Mike went to his grave fervently denying this perfect provenance for his baby. So I'm struggling to see the point of Mike and chums obtaining a guard book that was in Battlecrease for their grand hoax if they were never going to try and capitalise on it.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by John G View Post
                                Because I believe whoever wrote the diary must have researched the Whitechapel murders, and the life of James Maybrick, in some detail. However, Barrett suggests that he completed all the necessary research in just a few days- at the very least he's vague about this point. Moreover, he gives virtually no detail, either at the time of the affidavit, or as far as I'm aware in the future, about how he undertook that research and what sources he consulted. I mean, in a subsequent "confession" he does say that he once worked as a barman at the Post House and that's how he "gained full knowledge" of the pub's history, but that's not very revealing either.

                                And that makes me suspicious. Just as it makes me suspicious when someone comes along claiming to have discovered who JtR was and is then extremely reticent about providing information as to how he arrived at that conclusion.
                                Thanks John, you make a lot of sense.

                                One thing that never seems to worry the 'Mike said he did it, so why should we not believe him?' crowd is the fact that not one single person - librarian, archivist, pub landlord, bookshop keeper, friend, enemy, associate, creditor, drinking companion - has ever come forward to say they saw or heard Mike, or someone resembling him, asking or phoning for information, or undertaking any research whatsoever into Maybrick or the ripper before he had called Doreen with the 'good' news that he had the diary.

                                Nothing. Nothing at all.

                                How did he manage that?

                                Love,

                                Caz
                                X
                                "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


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