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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
    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?



    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".



    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.
    David, do you have proof that 'one-off instance' is an anachronism or are you basing your opinion on a lack of evidence to the contrary?
    Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-12-2018, 01:17 PM.

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    • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
      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".
      Of course. So yesterday's certainty is today's slippery retraction.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
        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".
        How much credence can we place in David's certainty that the phrase 'one-off instance' couldn't possibly have been used by someone in the 1880s when he misses something so much easier to research such as this?

        In his defence, I would say it's very brave (and uncharacteristic) of him to admit to human fallibility.
        Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-12-2018, 02:42 PM.

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        • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
          How much credence can we now place in David's certainty that the phrase 'one-off instance' couldn't possibly have been used by someone in the 1880s when he misses something like this?
          They are rather different things, Gary.
          Kind regards, Sam Flynn

          "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
            They are rather different things, Gary.
            Indeed they are Gareth. One is unknowable, the other clearly researchable. David expressed certainty about both and got the researchable one wrong. So, at the risk of repeating myself, how much credence should we give to his certainty about the unknowable one?

            You yourself were (to put it mildly) very confident that the phrase 'topping oneself', meaning to commit suicide, was a late 20th century construction. You were wrong. Is it not even conceivably possible that David is similarly wrong about 'one-off instance'?

            That's all that I'm asking. I don't believe for a minute that the diary was written in the 1880s, but I couldn't say hand on heart that it is impossible that it couldn't have been for this or that reason.
            Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-12-2018, 03:28 PM.

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            • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
              Indeed they are Gareth. One is unknowable, the other clearly researchable. David expressed certainty about both and got the researchable one wrong. So, at the risk of repeating myself, how much credence should we give to his certainty about the unknowable one?

              You yourself were (to put it mildly) very confident that the phrase 'topping oneself', meaning to commit suicide, was a late 20th century construction. You were wrong. Is it not even conceivably possible that David is similarly wrong about 'one-off instance'?

              That's all that I'm asking. I don't believe for a minute that the diary was written in the 1880s, but I couldn't say hand on heart that it is impossible that it couldn't have been for this or that reason.
              This thread is now the David's ego vs improbable rather than impossible debate.

              Enjoy. And if in the unlikely event that any interesting new JTR research comes of it, I can be contacted in the Pearl of Dorset.
              Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-12-2018, 03:31 PM.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                This thread is now the David's ego vs improbable rather than impossible debate.

                Enjoy. And if in the unlikely event that any interesting new JTR research comes of it, I can be contacted in the Pearl of Dorset.
                Is there any truth in the assertion that you have searched extensively in order to determine whether the phrase "One Off Instance" was in use during the Late Victorian Period? That is in the context it was used in the Diary.

                Also, if any new interesting research comes to light, which might throw some light as to who was responsible for the Whitechapel murders. Why should we contact you?
                Last edited by Observer; 05-12-2018, 04:20 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                  How much credence can we place in David's certainty that the phrase 'one-off instance' couldn't possibly have been used by someone in the 1880s when he misses something so much easier to research such as this?

                  In his defence, I would say it's very brave (and uncharacteristic) of him to admit to human fallibility.
                  Why would you need to place any credence in David Orsam? If you believe he is no longer trustworthy, just go and find an instance of “a one off instance” being used in the 19th century.

                  Personally, I find it adds to David Orsam’s integrity and my perception of his scrupulous research methods: after finding more precise information, he of course adjusts his earlier statement.
                  I think, from what he normally posts, that the failure to admit mistakes is one of the chief characteristics that David Orsam dislikes. It’s intellectually dishonest.

                  So I don’t think it’s very uncharacteristic of him to admit human fallibility, I rather think the opposite, that’s one of his objectives: everyone makes mistakes. It’s only failure to admit such that is a real mistake.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                    You yourself were (to put it mildly) very confident that the phrase 'topping oneself', meaning to commit suicide, was a late 20th century construction. You were wrong.
                    I wouldn't say I was very confident, to put it mildly or otherwise but, as I had initially found no early examples of that phrase it was a reasonable hypothesis to put forward. The fact that the phrase's first appearance in print was refined by subsequent research is to be welcomed.

                    My argument was not so much that "top myself" was invented in the late 20th century, but that it then started to appear more frequently in print and other (mass) media. Larger numbers of ordinary people would have been exposed to the phrase than previously possible, and would thus be more likely to use it themselves.

                    That remains my position on this and similar phrases appearing in the diary, and it's a reasonable one.
                    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                    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.
                      Not sure how I missed that one but miss it no more. A non sequitur is not delimited to statements. Your question did not logically follow from my post which you were referencing therefore it was very much a non sequitur, and it is refreshing to note that even the landed gentry can be 'off' their game in an 'instance' such as this.
                      Iconoclast

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                      • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post
                        Not sure how I missed that one but miss it no more. A non sequitur is not delimited to statements. Your question did not logically follow from my post which you were referencing therefore it was very much a non sequitur, and it is refreshing to note that even the landed gentry can be 'off' their game in an 'instance' such as this.
                        I'm afraid I have to correct you there. My question was this:

                        "So you accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used?"

                        That you were indeed accepting that "one-off" was not an expression Maybrick could have used was the obvious conclusion to draw from the fact that you believe he was using an expression ("off instance") which is not known to exist in the English language. But I was asking for your confirmation which you gave me, i.e. "At this point in time, I accept the evidence which has been put to us by you - that no-one could have writeen (sic) "one off instance" (as it is written in the journal) in 1888 or 1889 and meant by it "one-off instance""

                        Phrased as a question, therefore, it was not a non sequitur. However, that's not really important because in all this you seem to have omitted to answer my question (in #4709):

                        "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?"

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                          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".
                          I say "forensic document examiners" but Maureen Casey Owens, former president of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, was the only actual forensic document examiner in the team, Rendell himself being a dealer and expert in historical documents.

                          If, as Harris reported having learnt from Rendell, Casey Owens believed that the Diary was a newly written manuscript document, it actually seems to strengthen the point I was making, in that the only two forensic document examiners to have examined the Diary believe it to have been a recent forgery.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            My argument was not so much that "top myself" was invented in the late 20th century, but that it then started to appear more frequently in print and other (mass) media. Larger numbers of ordinary people would have been exposed to the phrase than previously possible, and would thus be more likely to use it themselves.

                            That remains my position on this and similar phrases appearing in the diary, and it's a reasonable one.
                            Sam can you help me on something?

                            I've never actually looked at or considered the expression "top myself" but am I right in thinking that "to be topped" was always known to be a nineteenth century expression for being hanged? Wasn't that, in fact, always the argument of Diary Defenders that this could easily be applied by someone who hanged himself so that the expression "top myself" was perfectly viable? Indeed, I think that is why it never really interested me as something which could prove the Diary as a fake because it could, in theory, have been easily created by an individual, such as Maybrick.

                            Now, the language experts said that "top myself" wasn't in use in English during the nineteenth century but then it was discovered that some years prior to 1888 we find the expression "top myself" in a newspaper report (or, as I seem to recall it was reported, "top himself").

                            As I think I am right in saying, you noted at the time that the newspaper reporter had felt the need to define this expression as a statement of an individual wanting to hang himself. So do you think that what might simply have happened here is what the Diary Defenders had predicted could have happened all along in that an individual had combined the concept of topping, i.e. hanging, with hanging himself to come up with "top myself"?

                            But does that mean the expression actually entered the English language thereafter? Or was it just a "one off" which was completely forgotten about? In other words, are there any other known examples of "top myself" prior to 1888?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                              If Baxendale found nothing to suggest the presence of iron then that is the fact of the matter. It was perfectly proper for him to report that (absence of) finding. He did NOT say that there was no iron in the ink.

                              Here is some very important information which may never have been published before - I've certainly never seen it. It's an extract from a note by the late Melvin Harris based on what he had been told directly by Dr Baxendale (underlining in original):

                              "When Dr. Baxendale made the first examination of the diary ink it looked so new to him that he didn't even bother to make a chemical test for iron. As he explained to me, he made a visual examination of the ink only and since it showed not the slightest trace of age-bronzing, concluded, rightly, that it could not possibly be an iron-gall ink laid down some 104 years ago. His solvency test, a perfectly valid test in experienced hands, took him by surprise; "The pigments dissolved in distilled-water within seconds", he told me. This should not happen with a century-old gallotanic ink."
                              I have some more information to impart on this subject which I believe exonerates Baxendale from any mistake about the iron from a forensic document examination perspective, albeit he might have been guilty of some sloppy drafting in his report.

                              A note written by Melvin Harris entitled "SOME INKY FACTS" contains this passage regarding Baxendale (my bold):

                              What he actually wrote was “There is nothing to suggest the presence of iron” but this was a verdict based on an optical examination in which he found not the slightest trace of age-bronzing. This is made plain by later words, which read: “It is not obviously an iron-based ink*….there is no sign of such a brown colour.” And Dr Baxendale has now written to me and explained that he first looked for the bronzing that one would rightfully expect in a document that was said to date from 1888-89; it was absent. He also writes that the first line above should have read “presence of oxidised iron” to avoid confusion. He further writes that “The omission of that one word caused some misunderstanding.”

                              *Harris is slightly in error in his quoting of Baxendale who said: "The ink is generally dark grey in colour and is not obviously an iron based ink."

                              But clearly the inclusion of the word "oxidised" into Baxendale's report so that the relevant sentence should have read "There is nothing to suggest the presence of oxidised iron" changes everything.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by David Orsam View Post
                                I'm afraid I have to correct you there. My question was this:

                                "So you accept that "one-off" as in "one-off instance" was not an expression that Maybrick could have used?"
                                Honestly, only you could attempt to wriggle your way out of this one!

                                Your question is clearly stated in a way which implies that I was arguing in that instance that one-off was not an expression which Maybrick could have used when I was clearly focusing solely on off-instance being his intended meaning. Nothing to do with one-off. That's your non sequitur. Everyone knows it, including you, but as usual you can't let it go until you're seen to be right.

                                Just let it go, man. You're wrong.
                                Iconoclast

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