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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Regarding the Crashaw quote and the Sphere book, I can't confirm the truth of any of this, but this is what appears in what is, I assume, a previously unpublished note by Melvin Harris:

    "A book and other documents that were "evidence" were mentioned to private detective Allan Gray by Mike Barrett, at the beginning of August 1994. No title was given. Mike also mentioned that he had left his "evidence" with his solicitor. At that time Gray took just passing notice of this claim. He is not a Ripperologist, and at that juncture he was simply employed to trace Anne and Mike's daughter . But in the first week of September Mike extended his engagement and asked Gray to help him "prove" his forgery claim so that the story could be sold to a newspaper. He said that his earlier actions could dry up the royalties and he wanted some compensation for this. It was at that point that Mike first NAMED the book as a " 'Sphere' book about poems". Let me underscore this: this partial naming took place in the FIRST WEEK of September 1994. His disclosure of the location of the Crashaw lines to Mrs Harrison, did not take place until much later, on 30th September. But he had earlier said to Gray that he had kept the book "up his sleeve". He had not told the Liverpool reporter about this book, since they "wanted everything for nothing" and made no offer to pay anything at all. Here let me register that Allan Gray will back this up with a statement meant for publication."

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
      Did the Victorians use phrases like "off-day", though? I doubt it. Besides, the diary refers to "A one off instance", not simply "AN off instance", which doesn't work. (Compare "I'm having a one off-day", which doesn't work for the same reason.)
      This is the diffrence between the critical eye and the black and white of 2018 and the full-blown technicolour of the dust and dirt of 18889 and 1889.

      You write as though everyone writes what is already prepared in the head. Just like speech, what we write is largely what is spun in the pre-articulatory loop before being pronounced so it inevitably becomes error-prone and grammatically-imprecise.

      Maybrick wrote in the here and now, not in the retrospect of a hundred years. He wrote "A" and then "one" and people in the north of England to this day still say "a one" (my own mother does it, much to our amusement) and whether he meant it or not, he left it, because it wasn't important, it was for his eyes only, and he didn't care. The "off instance" followed and his grammar and context and meaning are impeccable because they were what he wanted to write in the moment of wriiting and he absolutely didn't care about the critical eyes of an audience he never thought once to have. Pardon my grammar.
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
        Maybrick wrote in the here and now, not in the retrospect of a hundred years. He wrote "A" and then "one" and people in the north of England to this day still say "a one" (my own mother does it, much to our amusement) and whether he meant it or not, he left it, because it wasn't important, it was for his eyes only, and he didn't care. The "off instance" followed and his grammar and context and meaning are impeccable because they were what he wanted to write in the moment of wriiting and he absolutely didn't care about the critical eyes of an audience he never thought once to have. Pardon my grammar.
        So you accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
          So you accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used?
          Why would I need to, my good Lord O?

          If I believe that he intended to write something quite different ("one off-instance"), that has no bearing on whether or not I believe he could have written "one-off instance" as clearly I don't believe that that was what he was intending to write.

          But - moving on from your little non sequitur there - I am happy to address the question nevertheless: At this point in time, I accept the evidence which has been put to us by you - that no-one could have writeen "one off instance" (as it is written in the journal) in 1888 or 1889 and meant by it "one-off instance". If - in saying this - you could read that to mean that I "accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used" then, I guess, yes, that is what I accept.

          Until, of course, the evidence comes along that proves that Maybrick could have meant to use that term after all.

          But none of that is particularly relevant if Maybrick could have meant "one-off instance" or "one off-instance" because clearly either work. If you are compelled to sacrifice the former (as the evidence you present us with suggests we must), you can still have the latter.

          I can sense the dusty encyclopaedias hurtling from the shelves of Orsam Manor as I type. A new theme is to be researched and no stone is to be left unturned ...
          Iconoclast

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
            But none of that is particularly relevant if Maybrick could have meant "one-off instance" or "one off-instance" because clearly either work.
            Not so. "One-off instance" is the only one that works, because there is no such thing as an "off-instance", whether hyphenated or not.
            Last edited by Sam Flynn; 05-12-2018, 01:00 AM.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              But - moving on from your little non sequitur there
              Well it would have been a non sequitur had it been expressed as a statement but you might have noticed that it was as a question, in which case it obviously wasn't.

              Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
              If - in saying this - you could read that to mean that I "accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used" then, I guess, yes, that is what I accept.
              Thank you. So, now, I trust you can produce some nineteenth century examples (or indeed from any time period) of someone using the expression "off-instance", with or without a hyphen, can you?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                Well it would have been a non sequitur had it been expressed as a statement but you might have noticed that it was as a question, in which case it obviously wasn't.



                Thank you. So, now, I trust you can produce some nineteenth century examples (or indeed from any time period) of someone using the expression "off-instance", with or without a hyphen, can you?
                Personally I don’t have that level of motivation - to prove something that someone else tells me isn’t right. I think the onus is on you, my good Lord, to demonstrate that it could not possibly be what Maybrick meant.

                Fill yer boots. You ‘showed’ (jury is obviously still out on that one) that Maybrick could not have meant one off instance so feel free to show that he equally could not have meant one off instance also.
                Iconoclast

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                  Personally I don’t have that level of motivation - to prove something that someone else tells me isn’t right. I think the onus is on you, my good Lord, to demonstrate that it could not possibly be what Maybrick meant.
                  You suggested that the diarist meant "off-instance", so it's incumbent on you to prove whether such a phrase was, or has ever been, used by anyone, never mind "Maybrick".
                  Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                  "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    You suggested that the diarist meant "off-instance", so it's incumbent on you to prove whether such a phrase was, or has ever been, used by anyone, never mind "Maybrick".
                    Yes, and I would go further and say that it has been positively asserted by native speakers of the English language that there is no such expression in English as "off-instance" (or "off instance") and never has been. So, in the absence of any examples of anyone actually saying or writing this, why should the entire world not conclude that this latest "theory" is a desperate and nonsensical attempt to rescue the dead Diary?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                      You suggested that the diarist meant "off-instance", so it's incumbent on you to prove whether such a phrase was, or has ever been, used by anyone, never mind "Maybrick".
                      On the contrary. I don't have to prove anything. It is not I who claims the journal is a hoax. I am happy that the expression "one off instance" makes perfect sense for Maybrick in 1888 or 1889.

                      If anyone feels that this is an incorrect conclusion on my part, they should fill their boots with the evidence of it, but personally I'm cool with it.
                      Iconoclast

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                        Yes, and I would go further and say that it has been positively asserted by native speakers of the English language that there is no such expression in English as "off-instance" (or "off instance") and never has been. So, in the absence of any examples of anyone actually saying or writing this, why should the entire world not conclude that this latest "theory" is a desperate and nonsensical attempt to rescue the dead Diary?
                        What, you and Sam Flynn? That's slightly grandiose of you, but there you go.

                        It's been positively asserted by native speakers of the English language - sometimes as many as tens of thousands of them at once - that Newcastle United are the greatest team there ever was, but I can't help thinking that may not make it so.
                        Iconoclast

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                          What, you and Sam Flynn? That's slightly grandiose of you, but there you go.
                          Why is "grandiose" to call myself and Sam Flynn native speakers of the English language?

                          What's your position then? Are you saying that if you wanted to you could easily find some examples of the use of "off instance" but won't be pressured into doing it? Or are you saying that you don't think you will be able to find any but that doesn't make any difference?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                            Why is "grandiose" to call myself and Sam Flynn native speakers of the English language?

                            What's your position then? Are you saying that if you wanted to you could easily find some examples of the use of "off instance" but won't be pressured into doing it? Or are you saying that you don't think you will be able to find any but that doesn't make any difference?
                            Well, two people with an agenda say one thing and another with an agenda says another and the tone is very much that the views of the two significantly trump the views of the one. I mean, it's a voice away from extra-time and penalties, man - so, yes, distinctly grandiose, I would say, to think that your two views could have such significance in this (or any other) debate.

                            It rather puts me in mind of one of Sam's long-ago put-downs starting "You've been told that ..." and then an opinion rather than a fact came forth.

                            Anyway, to your point about my position on all of this. I would say that for twenty-five years or so I didn't think about the expression "one off instance". I took Shirley Harrison's word for it that it was within the bounds of reason that the one-off bit at least could well have been used by Maybrick (though I hadn't realised that she hadn't followed up the source of it) and then you came along and challenged the possibility of it, and did so fairly convincingly. So - for the first time - I wondered if the obvious interpretation was the only one and it occurred to me that it wasn't. There's another interpretation. I don't really like it any more than you do, but I accept that it is possible that in the moment of writing Maybrick may not have been as eloquent as he could have been.

                            I imagine you are right and Maybrick did indeed mean to write one-off and actually I imagine we'll establish in time that that was indeed perfectly possible in 1888 or 1889 (without it having to be the first and only case for a century). But whilst we await that proof, I turn to the secondary possibility. Not as strong a case as the former possibility, but the strength of the case is irrelevant if it is what Maybrick intended to write (and we have simply misread him).
                            Iconoclast

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                              Well, two people with an agenda say one thing and another with an agenda says another and the tone is very much that the views of the two significantly trump the views of the one.
                              Well hold on, are you saying then that "off instance" IS part of the English language? I don't recall you ever saying that. But if you are saying it, why no examples?

                              Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                              There's another interpretation. I don't really like it any more than you do, but I accept that it is possible that in the moment of writing Maybrick may not have been as eloquent as he could have been.
                              It's not a question of me not liking it, I think it's quite a funny joke. But what I'm trying to establish with you is if you think Maybrick was writing in known English or creating a never previously used (and never used since) expression of "off instance".

                              Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                              I imagine you are right and Maybrick did indeed mean to write one-off
                              I think you are well aware that I don't believe that Maybrick wrote anything in the diary and, indeed, the anachronistic expression "one off instance" proves he did not.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                                Baxendale's area of expertise was forensic document examination. He had a lot of experience in the subject. This is why he was chosen by Smith and Harrison, above all others, to examine the diary. He remains, in fact, the only forensic document examiner to have examined the diary. He concluded that it was a modern fake.
                                Actually, of course, the Rendell team, comprising forensic document examiners, did also examine the Diary in Chicago in August 1993. According to Melvin Harris, writing in 1996, "each one concluded that they were looking at a newly written manuscript". Thus, said Harris: "I have spoken to Joe Nickell about this and he has no reservations whatsoever about his findings. I've also had lunch with Rendell who confirmed that this was his view and that it was shared by Casey Owens & Kuranz".

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