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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • To be honest Ike, and I'll be criticised for this I know, I don't see that as a major problem. The phrase 'one off' was in use. It means, obviously one of ....something. In the diary it's used in conjunction with instance. It's more of a colloquial phrase. When people write surely they tend to write more formally? If it was a phrase used mainly in trade then maybe it was only used by people with experience of trade. Like a cotton merchant. How many private letters have been checked to find this phrase? I'd suggest around 0.0000000something of the ones still in existence in various places from the period.
    Just an opinion.

    Regards
    Herlock
    Regards

    Sir Herlock Sholmes

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
      To be honest Ike, and I'll be criticised for this I know, I don't see that as a major problem. The phrase 'one off' was in use. It means, obviously one of ....something. In the diary it's used in conjunction with instance. It's more of a colloquial phrase. When people write surely they tend to write more formally? If it was a phrase used mainly in trade then maybe it was only used by people with experience of trade. Like a cotton merchant. How many private letters have been checked to find this phrase? I'd suggest around 0.0000000something of the ones still in existence in various places from the period.
      Just an opinion.

      Regards
      Herlock
      And your opinion is obviously important, Herlock. Unfortunately, David has the evidence on his side, and the evidence shows that the term "one-off" appears to have been incompatible with an "instance" in 1888/89. To David - and it's hard to disagree - it is a conceptual leap made suddenly in 1888/89 which then never gets repeated until 1982. Imagine the term "viral thread" also appearing in the diary - the two words in themselves would (I'm assuming, maybe not actually, but it makes a point nevertheless) not be surprising but the use of them together in this way predating our social networking dystopia (and yet never again used before its arrival in the 2010s) is simply beyond the likelihood of a reasoned mind.

      I think he has us by the short and curlies, mate, and I for one have not stopped squealing since he did ...
      Iconoclast
      Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
      Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
      Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

      Comment


      • I'm trying to think how anyone could possibly know that without reading pretty much everything. Unless of course we take the word instance to be only used only when recalling a day, as in on the 12 inst, which would mean on the 12th of this month. But inst. stands for instant? He obviously knows far more about this than I do but I'd still like to see his point. Do you know where about in the thread that David explained this?

        My question now is... if you accept that this phrase couldn't have been used at the time then how do you continue with your belief that the diary is genuine?

        Regards
        Herlock
        Regards

        Sir Herlock Sholmes

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
          I'm trying to think how anyone could possibly know that without reading pretty much everything. Unless of course we take the word instance to be only used only when recalling a day, as in on the 12 inst, which would mean on the 12th of this month. But inst. stands for instant? He obviously knows far more about this than I do but I'd still like to see his point. Do you know where about in the thread that David explained this?

          My question now is... if you accept that this phrase couldn't have been used at the time then how do you continue with your belief that the diary is genuine?

          Regards
          Herlock
          He placed it all over, Herlock - left it in front for all to see ... in far too many places for me to enumerate here. But he's formidable so if I were you I'd put some thick socks on. And quickly.

          How do I continue to believe? I believe because all-too often we've been told something killed the journal stone dead and then it has turned out to have barely even been concussed, merely taking a light afternoon nap. The general fit for Maybrick overwealms me each time with its implausibility: The FM on the wall, the Diego Laurenz postcard, the this, the that, and all the subtleties under the sun all conspire together and whisper in my ear "We'll get that David Orsam, just you watch". And then there's the watch! Have you read History vs Maybrick yet??? You'll get my drift.

          So that's how I sleep at night.

          That and the cannabis, of course ...
          Iconoclast
          Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
          Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
          Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
            Hi Harry D

            I know that the handwriting doesn't match so my question has always been: what kind of forger doesn't even bother to copy the handwriting? It's like someone forging a Van Gogh but painting it in Turner's style. It makes no sense that any forger would do something that would immediately cause people to doubt its authenticity. On the other hand is it totally impossible that Maybrick, who otherwise saw himself as a gentleman, might act as though the ripper was his Mr Hyde. His dark half. Hence a different handwriting. I'm not saying that he was schitzophrenic but we know that people with multiple identities use different hand writing styles.
            As for the breasts. I really can't see this as too much of an issue. A man has just torn a woman to shreds in some kind bloodlust orgy. There are body parts everywhere. He write up his diary who knows how long after the event. At the very least, hours. Surely this is nitpicking on a huge scale to think that he could have mistaken which parts he put where whilst in a frenzy of mutilation.
            I believe that I said earlier that I'm not saying that the diary is categorically true. My point is that people who are confident that it's a forgery have had 26 years to come up with just one fact, only one, that categorically disproves the diary (or the watch for that matter) and the fact is that they simply haven't. They might do so tomorrow but they haven't yet. Unanswered questions aren't sufficient. I just don't understand why some people, and I'm not accusing you of this Harry, see disproving the diary as some sort of sacred quest for the good of humanity. My view has always been quite straightforward. My life will be changed not one iota if the diary is disproven or proven. I just require more than just half a dozen questions for which we have no definitive answer as yet.
            Whether people like it or not this 'amateurish fake' still lives.

            Regards
            Herlock
            So, in summary, the diary is authenticated by its mistakes?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
              I'm trying to think how anyone could possibly know that without reading pretty much everything.
              Oh - I should have added ... David has read everything, albeit via some fancy software search engine gig which is able to trawl through the whole of American literature for a billion years and find the words "new-born tyranosaur" if such a combination ever existed.

              Honestly, it's scary. Remember the socks ..
              Iconoclast
              Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
              Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
              Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                If memory serves, and it often doesn't, didn't Shirley Harrison find the phrase 'one off,' used in builders records in the 1850s?
                No she did not but it's not your memory that has let you down, it's the way this "find" has been presented.

                I have written about it before in this thread and reproduce it here:

                This is what Shirley Harrison said in 1993:

                "In the building industry, 'one off' in the sense of one only, was used when ordering materials (source: records of Trayner's of Kent, 1860). A 'one-off" was also an ornamental brick used in Victorian canals, and similarly, in engineering the term referred to a unique example or a prototype. This is precisely the sense Maybrick employed it in the diary."

                Let's look carefully at this paragraph. A source reference is given in the first sentence for 'one off' being used in the building industry in the sense of 'one only' when ordering materials. Is that what 'one off' means in the expression 'one off instance'? The answer is no (I developed this point in a separate post and will not repeat it here).

                For the moment, though, just focus on the second sentence. She says that 'one off' was also an ornamental brick (although what that has to do with the expression 'one off instance' I have no idea) and a unique example or prototype (which IS relevant and is the sense employed in the diary, as Harrison says). But she does not provide any source for either of these claims. It is just stated and left without any support whatsoever.

                She returned to the subject in 2003 in her book 'The American Connection'. Here is what she said then:

                "I telephoned Traynors, a long established building company in Kent who discovered the phrase lurking in their archives. In 1860, they said, it was used when a new building material was being ordered as a special. A one-off was also an ornamental brick used in Victorian Canals and referred to a unique example or prototype".

                It will be noted that in the first meaning provided, Shirley says that it was used when a new material was being ordered 'as a special'. This is not what she said in 1993 when it was used in the sense of 'one only'. How has she been able to improve upon the meaning over ten years to include the word 'special'?

                And again she has slipped into the second sentence two additional purported nineteenth century meanings of 'one off' without any source provided at all.

                Unless she is trying to say that all three meanings were provided to her by this single company in Kent.

                What was that company called? In 1993 it was Trayner's. In 2003 it was Traynors.

                I have looked in a number of building and construction directories from the 19th Century and can state with some confidence that there was no building company called Trayner's or Traynors (or similar) in Kent during that century. I have found no record of it in 1993 either (although further research could be done on that).

                Harrison's story does not make sense in any case on the face of it. One does not simply telephone a modern working building company at random to be told what is in their archives from the nineteenth century. Tracking down such a reference would have involved a certain amount of research work by someone but there is no mention of who did this or how long it took.

                Furthermore, as noted in the Ripper Diary: The Inside Story by Linder, Morris and Skinner, Harrison has never actually seen any document supporting the reference.

                This was her excuse in 2003:

                "As I did not have this in writing at the time, I tried to double-check the information for this edition but the firm was no longer in existence and I have been unable to trace their archives".

                But think about this. Harrison in 1993 has just managed to find the answer to a serious problem raised with the diary about the expression 'one off instance'. As she says in 2003:

                "Webster's gives its first written appearance as 1925. But it was in the building world that I found what I consider the real answer to my problem."

                So she's telephoned this building company who have told her, yes they have the answer to her prayers but rather than ask to see a copy of this very helpful document so she can check for herself she puts the phone down never to speak to them again and the company now no longer exist.

                This is not a satisfactory state of affairs to say the least but regardless of what she was or was not told by Trayner's or Traynors, nothing that Harrison claims to have found suggests that the expression 'one off instance', or similar, had ever used by a single living soul during or before 1888.

                And it gets worse. According to Linder, Morris and Skinner in Inside Story, Harrison told her publisher in 1993:

                “According to Dr Tony Deeson of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the phrase "one off" appeared in the records of builders Trayners of Kent in 1860..”.

                So, far from her having put in a telephone call to Trayners of Kent herself it would appear that she had relied on something she had been told by a Dr Tony Deeson. It rather appears that her memory let her down when writing her 2003 book because it seems she had spoken only to Deeson not to anyone at Trayners.

                But how did Deeson know about it? We will never find out because he is dead. There is, in other words, no corroboration of the claim that "one off" appeared in the records of any builders in 1860.

                However, as I have written about at length, the issue is not even about the origin of the expression "one off" but about the expression "one off instance" because the former originally referred to a unique manufactured product or design and it was only much later that it was used to describe other things such as people or happenings.

                HS - I fully appreciate that this is a ridiculously long thread and I don't want to be making impossible demands or unfair criticisms but if you are going to say that you "haven't heard of" any disproving facts yet then you really first need to read this thread in full because there have been quite a few posted.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
                  I'm trying to think how anyone could possibly know that without reading pretty much everything.
                  There are plenty of modern day search engines which make searching quick and easy but there are also professionals at the Oxford English Dictionary and other dictionaries whose job it is to source origins of words and expressions from literature (and who have been doing so since the nineteenth century) and they haven't found an example either. And in over 20 years no-one who claims the Diary is genuine has found one. Further I am sure they never will find one because I believe I have worked out the general chronology of how the phrase evolved from "one off" to "one off job" and then, much later, to "one off instance" or similar.

                  I don't want to get sucked into all this again. It's all been posted by me in this thread. There is a search function.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                    No she did not but it's not your memory that has let you down, it's the way this "find" has been presented.
                    The socks, Herlock - the socks!!!!
                    Iconoclast
                    Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                    Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                    Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                      And in over 20 years no-one who claims the Diary is genuine has found one.
                      In fairness, David, I don't think anyone's been looking that hard (if at all). Prior to your rigour and doggedness, we dwelt mainly on other issues. We now need to dig deep, it is true, but prior to 2017 the need for a sturdy shovel was much less apparent.
                      Iconoclast
                      Author of the brilliant Society's Pillar
                      Link: HistoryvsMaybrick – Dropbox
                      Author of the even more brillianter Society's Pillar 2025 (available in all good browsers soon-ish)

                      Comment


                      • I've just been looking back at the posts in the thread (not all of them of course)
                        Obviously Ike I accept that David is an excellent and experienced researcher as I've read some of his posts and a couple of articles on his website.
                        I don't quite understand though the point about there being a transition phrase between from 'one off' meaning a quantity to being about something unique. I may be misunderstanding things here but surely they are the same. To have a 'one off' relating to quantity(i.e. One) is the same as being unique (i.e. the only one). I worked in the foundry industry for over 20 years; my grandfather was a patternmaker and I've worked with many patternmakers. Making a 'one off' means making one and, far more than likely, the only one ever.
                        The phrase was used, as per David's research in engineering at the earliest he's found, in 1903. Surely it's not beyond belief that it could also have been used 15 years earlier too? Of course it's indefensible if Shirley Harrison lied about contacting Traynor's. But if she did indeed contact Dr Deeson of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and he gave her that information that only means that she lied about the origin of her information. Possibly she was trying to exaggerate the legwork that she done to 'get to the truth. She couldn't have known that this guy was going to die and that the information could not be corroborated. Is it therefore impossible that Dr Deeson genuinely had that information to hand?
                        On the point of not finding any example of one-off instance being used in literature and letters etc I still come back to the point that this phrase originated in engineering and industry. What percentage of private letters, where someone with the required knowledge to employ a phrase which derives from engineering, are still in existence; never mind in the public domain.
                        It was shown in posts that 'one off' has been used over the years in conjunction with other words ( meaning one/something unique). I don't find it beyond the bounds of possibility that someone, somewhere employed it with 'instance,' and it's no great surprise that a letter from Fred Bloggs to his brother Alf in 1893 hasn't survived or been left in the public domain.
                        Again, just opinions here.

                        Regards
                        Herlock
                        Regards

                        Sir Herlock Sholmes

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                          Oh - I should have added ... David has read everything, albeit via some fancy software search engine gig which is able to trawl through the whole of American literature for a billion years and find the words "new-born tyranosaur" if such a combination ever existed.

                          Honestly, it's scary. Remember the socks ..
                          But let's say, for arguments sake, someone does find an extremely rare example of the phrase being used in the late nineteenth century (and even that's widely speculative). What exactly would that prove? The chances of Maybrick using a phrase in his diary, that under this scenario would be virtually unknown at the time, would be infinitesimally small.

                          In fact, the chances of the only known example of the phrase being used prior to 1903 (and then only in an engineering context) being found in an authentic diary written by James Maybrick must be about a billion to one shot.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                            In fairness, David, I don't think anyone's been looking that hard (if at all). Prior to your rigour and doggedness, we dwelt mainly on other issues. We now need to dig deep, it is true, but prior to 2017 the need for a sturdy shovel was much less apparent.
                            Shirley claims to have been.
                            G U T

                            There are two ways to be fooled, one is to believe what isn't true, the other is to refuse to believe that which is true.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                              The socks, Herlock - the socks!!!!
                              Better try a shroud, David Orsam has this thread dead and buried.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by John G View Post
                                But let's say, for arguments sake, someone does find an extremely rare example of the phrase being used in the late nineteenth century (and even that's widely speculative). What exactly would that prove? The chances of Maybrick using a phrase in his diary, that under this scenario would be virtually unknown at the time, would be infinitesimally small.

                                In fact, the chances of the only known example of the phrase being used prior to 1903 (and then only in an engineering context) being found in an authentic diary written by James Maybrick must be about a billion to one shot.
                                If we knew that Victorian prostitues in a certain area of London used a phrase that was 'based' on a phrase in general usage but had an added word. And then we searched and found no written example of it would we be justified in saying that the phrase was never in use?
                                If 'one off' can be added to other words and we can find them in writing just a few years later why is it impossible that 'one off instance'
                                could have been used at the time and possibly only by a few people who were aware of the origin but there's just no extant written examples. I can't see how it's impossible.

                                Regards
                                Herlock
                                Regards

                                Sir Herlock Sholmes

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