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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • People commit physical violence, they don't "spread" it, and the Ripper certainly didn't do so "throughout the land". Besides, the diarist persistently delights in gloating about leading the police a merry dance.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
      People commit physical violence, they don't "spread" it, and the Ripper certainly didn't do so "throughout the land". Besides, the diarist persistently delights in gloating about leading the police a merry dance.
      How the journalist chooses to express hmself is not for Sam Flynn to decide.

      If he wishes to use the expression 'throughout the land' even though he has only claimed murders in Manchester and Whitechapel, that's entirely his choice. As I recall, it's another part of his doggerel and therefore there is no requirement to read it as a literal statement of fact.

      Unless it suits your agenda, of course.
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
        After two-and-a-half decades of laughing up their sleeves, I somehow doubt it.
        Yes, two and a half decades of watching some Scouse lad picking up the winnings and p*ssing it all up against a wall.

        They must be rolling in the aisles at their genius.
        Iconoclast

        Comment


        • Manchester and London scarcely constitutes "throughout this fair land". Besides, one emphatically does not "spread" individual acts of murder, whereas people do speak of spreading/creating/causing mayhem in the sense of mischief and confusion. At least, people of a certain epoch do.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
            I am sure that I have come across a passage using "mayhem" in the older sense of causing physical harm, written by Mark Twain, in his newspaper days of the mid-nineteenth century.
            Circa late 1860s to 1870s, to be precise.

            Why is everyone so convinced that "spreading mayhem" can only mean the so-called modern meaning of "confusion"? I think that the Ripper certainly did spread mayhem with his exploits with his knife, and don't quite understand why everyone discards this interpretation.
            Hi Pcdunn,

            Indeed. I cannot fathom why "Sir Jim", who is allowed to play funny little word games involving his name, in between enjoying a spot of opportunistic murder and mutilation, is not allowed to have spread all this mayhem with his knife, considering the actual words in the diary:

            'May comes and goes...

            ...I will kill all the whores
            and not shed a tear

            With a ring on my finger
            and a knife in my hand.
            This May spreads Mayhem
            throughout this fair land.
            '

            Had his surname been Topping, we'd be having the same objections to him thinking of 'Topping' himself - ha ha - which thanks to Gary Barnett we now know to have been in use by 1877 to mean suicide by means of hanging, so one of the experts previously mentioned - Dr Kate Flint - was in error when she said this usage was not recorded until 1958, more than 80 years after it appeared in Gary's clipping! What else might she have been wrong about?

            Love,

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


            Comment


            • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
              Manchester and London scarcely constitutes "throughout this fair land". Besides, one emphatically does not "spread" individual acts of murder, whereas people do speak of spreading/creating/causing mayhem in the sense of mischief and confusion. At least, people of a certain epoch do.
              Why so literal, Gareth? What makes you think the diary author actually believed the ripper went 'throughout this fair land' with the knife in his hand? Wasn't "Sir Jim" just looking for something to rhyme with 'hand' at this point?

              One could argue, however, that the ripper's acts of mayhem, leaving his victims where they would be quickly discovered hacked about and minus parts of their anatomy, were indeed 'spread' across the map of Whitechapel.

              With a ring on my finger
              and a knife in my hand.
              This May spreads Mayhem
              throughout Whitechapel.

              Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

              Nor does:

              With a ring on my finger
              and a knife in my scrapple.
              This May spreads Mayhem
              throughout Whitechapel.

              Love,

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


              Comment


              • Someone without the concept of "spreading mayhem" at their disposal would scarcely have dreamt up such a thing in the first place, Caz, anymore than someone before the 1940s would have thought to write about "digging a beat".
                Last edited by Sam Flynn; 05-08-2018, 08:09 AM.
                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                Comment


                • Originally posted by caz View Post
                  With a ring on my finger
                  and a knife in my hand.
                  This May spreads Mayhem
                  throughout Whitechapel.

                  Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?
                  Indeed, Caz, but why not:

                  With a ring on my finger
                  and a knife in my hand
                  Sir Jim spreads confusion [or: Sir Jim creates panic]
                  Throughout this fair land.

                  In other words, there's no real need for the "mayhem" to have been there at all, unless the writer was familiar with the compound "spread mayhem" (as in confusion/panic) and thought it would be a wizard wheeze to work it into the text.

                  (BTW, the absurdity of "with a ring on my finger" just hit me. Was Maybrick channelling that fine lady of Banbury who rode a white horse? I think we should be told )
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    In other words, there's no real need for the "mayhem" to have been there at all, unless the writer was familiar with the compound "spread mayhem" (as in confusion/panic) and thought it would be a wizard wheeze to work it into the text.
                    You will make no mileage with your mayhem argument, Sam. It just doesn't have legs. For example, as a tenuous sideshow you have suggested that murders in Manchester and London could not reasonably have 'spread mayhem throughout this fair land'. As if only those who inhabited the squalid streets of Whitechapel were carpping themselves at the thought of having their ovaries tickled by Jack the Spratt!

                    I think Jack rather artfully put the wind up the entire nation, don't you?

                    I remember back in Newcastle in the mid-seventies when a rumour was flying around our school that an IRA cell had been stopped in a van on the Tyne Bridge and been arrested. It was all bollocks, but the nation was in a state of high alert and - despite the apparent safety of living in the north east - people were still carpping themselves over the mere possibility of the murderous threat.

                    His little doggerel did its job. That's all we need to know.
                    Iconoclast

                    Comment


                    • Sorry, Ike - one commits acts of violence, one does not spread acts of violence.

                      "I think Jack rather artfully put the wind up the entire nation, don't you?" - indeed, but that's spreading confusion, chaos and worry, not "mayhem" in the then predominant, if not only, sense of physical injury.
                      Last edited by Sam Flynn; 05-08-2018, 11:17 AM.
                      Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                      "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                        Sorry, Ike - one commits acts of violence, one does not spread acts of violence.
                        Sam,

                        Victorian journalists seem to have thought that 'murder' or 'murder and rapine' could be spread.

                        Gary

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                          Victorian journalists seem to have thought that 'murder' or 'murder and rapine' could be spread.
                          Thanks, Gary.

                          I can understand people writing about trends in types of crime as "spreading", but that only works at the group level, and not at the level of the individual. For example, we often hear that "knife crime is spreading over Britain", but nobody speaks of one person "spreading" knife crime. One person might have stabbed someone here, and another stabbing there... but that person can't be said to have "spread" stabbing from one place to the other; he has committed two separate acts of stabbing in two different places.

                          Besides, murder and rapine aside, the diarist does use "mayhem" specifically, which in the late 19th/early 20th century appears to have had the primary, if not sole, meaning of the infliction of bodily injury:

                          "With a ring on my finger
                          and a knife in my hand
                          This May spreads bodily injury (?!!!)
                          throughout this fair land"

                          That makes little sense to me either within or outside the context of the diary, but "spreads chaos/confusion" makes perfect sense at the point where the rhyme appears in the text. This is when "Maybrick" has seen the famous Blind Man's Buff cartoon in Punch, and he's laughing his wotsit off at the clueless, headless-chicken police, and that Jews and doctors are getting the blame for his deeds. In short, he's rejoicing in the chaos and confusion he's caused.
                          Last edited by Sam Flynn; 05-08-2018, 12:00 PM.
                          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            Thanks, Gary.

                            I can understand people writing about trends in types of crime as "spreading", but that only works at the group level, and not at the level of the individual. For example, we often hear that "knife crime is spreading over Britain", but nobody speaks of one person "spreading" knife crime. One person might have stabbed someone here, and another stabbing there... but that person can't be said to have "spread" stabbing from one place to the other; he has committed two separate acts of stabbing in two different places.

                            Besides, murder and rapine aside, the diarist does use "mayhem" specifically, which in the late 19th/early 20th century appears to have had the primary, if not sole, meaning of the infliction of bodily injury:

                            "With a ring on my finger
                            and a knife in my hand
                            This May spreads bodily injury (?!!!)
                            throughout this fair land"

                            That makes little sense to me either within or outside the context of the diary, but "spreads chaos/confusion" makes perfect sense at the point where the rhyme appears in the text. This is when "Maybrick" has seen the famous Blind Man's Buff cartoon in Punch, and he's laughing his wotsit off at the clueless, headless-chicken police, and that Jews and doctors are getting the blame for his deeds. In short, he's rejoicing in the chaos and confusion he's caused.
                            How about a government?

                            Click image for larger version

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                            From The Sheffield Daily Telegraph 1885

                            'May' followed by 'mayhem' slips off the tongue more easily than 'May' followed by 'bodily injury', don't you think?
                            Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-08-2018, 12:12 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by caz View Post
                              Why so literal, Gareth? What makes you think the diary author actually believed the ripper went 'throughout this fair land' with the knife in his hand? Wasn't "Sir Jim" just looking for something to rhyme with 'hand' at this point?

                              One could argue, however, that the ripper's acts of mayhem, leaving his victims where they would be quickly discovered hacked about and minus parts of their anatomy, were indeed 'spread' across the map of Whitechapel.

                              With a ring on my finger
                              and a knife in my hand.
                              This May spreads Mayhem
                              throughout Whitechapel.

                              Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?

                              Nor does:

                              With a ring on my finger
                              and a knife in my scrapple.
                              This May spreads Mayhem
                              throughout Whitechapel.

                              Love,

                              Caz
                              X
                              But Caz, can you find a quote online before 1900 where
                              Whitechapel is described as 'this fair land'? Eh?

                              I thought not - so your interpretation is 'impossible'.
                              Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-08-2018, 12:44 PM.

                              Comment


                              • A little while ago it was suggested that 'topping oneself', meaning to commit suicide, was not in usage in the 1880s. Ditto 'give someone a call' meaning to pay someone a visit. The OED was brought in to play to prove that prior to the 1970s 'mayhem' was only used in the specific legal sense of physically disabling someone. We were further told that 'spreading' an act of violence was not an expression 'one' would use.

                                All bollocks, I'm afraid.

                                So far, 'one-off' hasn't been cracked (it may never be), but to suggest that proves the diary is a fake is absurd.

                                The Diary reads very much like a late 20th century fake to me, but I'm buggered if I can prove exactly why I think so.

                                Comment

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