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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by Graham View Post
    Then does one 'create' or 'spread' or 'commit' mayhem? Does one 'create' or 'spread' or 'commit' burglary?
    One "commits" in both cases, Graham. At a general level, one might refer to a burglar as "responsible for a one-man crime wave", but not many people would think of saying that he "spread crime". One might say that a criminal (or even a prankster/practical joker) was intent on "spreading mayhem", however... but only in the recent sense of the term, namely, "causing chaos, confusion or panic to proliferate". Which is what Jack did.
    Kind regards, Sam Flynn

    "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Graham View Post
      Then does one 'create' or 'spread' or 'commit' mayhem? Does one 'create' or 'spread' or 'commit' burglary?
      Graham
      The modern meaning of mayhem is 'violent or damaging disorder; chaos' (e.g. complete mayhem broke out). Law, chiefly historical, the crime of maliciously injuring or maiming someone, originally so as to render the victim defenceless. The origin was early 16th century, from Old French mayhem. The sense 'disorder, chaos' (originally US) dates from the late 19th century. (With thanks to the New Oxford Dictionary of English).
      SPE

      Treat me gently I'm a newbie.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
        Anyone, if they're being honest with themselves, can see that the diarist is referring to the confusion and chaos that the Ripper case caused to spread throughout the country as a whole.
        I suspect that you are correct, Sam.

        The issue, of course, is not what we in the 1990s/2000s think the journalist meant, but what Maybrick meant if Maybrick wrote the journal.

        Stewart's post regarding the 1887 definition of 'mayhem' seems to point to injuring others rather than necessarily oneself.

        Nevertheless, if what you say regarding the juxtaposition of 'spread' and 'mayhem' is categorically correct, we would have something very close to a truly concrete end to the debate.

        Incidentally, drawn by an original posting predicting an 8/8/8 launch, I note that James Stettler's (who he?) 'The Jack the Ripper Diary: Another Chapter' is to be published on July 1.

        Reading between the very limited lines, he appears to be about to nail Michael Maybrick for Jack's crimes, and the actual auther of the disputed journal.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Stewart P Evans View Post
          The sense 'disorder, chaos' (originally US) dates from the late 19th century. (With thanks to the New Oxford Dictionary of English).
          Thanks Stewart.

          So the hoaxer had 'Sir Jim the Brute' spreading good old-fashioned, late 19th century mayhem and chaos "with a knife in his hand" after all.

          Case closed, Sam, I'm afraid. But I still love you tons and can't wait to give you and Stewart big hugs when I next see you both.

          Next.

          Love,

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


          Comment


          • Hi Caz,

            I've just posted this over on JTRForums, and reproduce it here for completness...

            My Shorter OED (Vol 2 "Marl-Z", 1984) doesn't even list the definition as "chaos/confusion", never mind the date of its first use in that sense. I presume from this that the discovery of the precedent was comparatively recent, and that original source(s) for that usage were quite scarce.

            Therefore one has to consider the following:

            1. What was the context in which the first (American) usage was found? (Bearing in mind that (a) Stewart's post says "late 19th century"; and (b) I've already noted the precedence of its use as a sporting metaphor.)

            2. When did the meaning enter (American) vernacular English?

            3. When did the meaning enter vernacular British English?

            4. When did the meaning reach saturation coverage, such that it would have been a commonplace, rather than a "one-off"? (e.g. the meaning of "radio" to mean a wireless receiver existed long before it passed into popular vernacular usage - and even then, there was a stage where the old term "wireless" continued to predominate, especially amongst the middle-aged. There are many other examples of this phenomenon.) Certainly, a trawl of online press archives and Google Books doesn't show that sense of the word - never mind the phrase - as being widely used until after the late 1950s. The compound phrase, later still.

            6. We still have to consider the compound use of the word in immediate conjunction with the verb "to spread".

            7. Taking all the above into account, what is more likely... That one person in the late 19th/early 20th Century used such phrases as "one-off", "top myself" and "spreads mayhem" when they weren't common in the vernacular - or that the person using that constellation of phrases was a product of the late 20th Century, when such phrases had seeped into common parlance to an appreciable degree?

            As I've said previously (and in various contexts), picking things off in isolation whilst ignoring the bigger picture might not be the wisest thing to do.

            Sincere thanks to Stewart for drawing this to our attention.
            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

            "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

            Comment


            • JOY HORSE- It Exists!

              Originally posted by Jane Welland View Post
              This is ehwaz – the rune for horse, and the equivalent in the latin alphabet for the letter ‘E’.
              There are, clearly, two interpretations here – one that the letters on the wall (if real) are a clever code for ‘joy horse’
              Jane x
              Hi, Jane, Soothy & Incontrovertible Gang; look what I found!

              JOY HORSE for sale on Amazon:

              http://www.amazon.co.uk/i-Joy-Hi-Tec.../dp/B00138PPXA

              JOY HORSE offered at 'Bliss Spa' as an Exercise Aid (wink, wink):

              http://www.bliss-algorfa.com/index.asp?pageid=124700

              Just goes to show, the Runes never lie.
              Best regards, Archaic

              Comment


              • Ah Ha!

                I knew it! Well done, Archaic, for finding it (him?). Well, I think I might like to have a little chat with the Joy Horse...

                Comment


                • It's worth noting that the misuse of mayhem is not only incredibly difficult to get around if you're arguing for the things authenticity, it's also a serious blow to the current "provenence" story where the thing allegedly came to Billy Graham in the 50s. It's a stretch to imagine that a 50s forger would use a newly popular phrase in the creation of a forgery. (Could you seriously imagine an 80s forger adding "Gag me with a spoon, I killed her. Like totally")

                  But then the diary defense IS a series of stretches, so.... carry on.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                    Hi Caz,

                    I've just posted this over on JTRForums, and reproduce it here for completness...
                    And I have replied over there, as you know Sam.

                    But briefly, a written reference dating from the late 19th century to mayhem meaning chaos or disorder, in addition to personal injury or bodily mutilation, indicates that mayhem was already being used by then in everyday speech to mean both.

                    In short, if they could talk about chaos or disorder being spread and mayhem being caused in the LVP, they were not physically or mentally incapable of writing about a fictional Jack the Ripper with a double life, who was into May-based word games and double meanings, who wanted to 'spread mayhem', from the day mayhem became interchangeable with chaos and disorder.

                    Simple as.

                    Love,

                    Caz - keeping it real
                    X
                    "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov


                    Comment


                    • I have to agree with caz and the others who say the Diary uses the term 'mayhem' correctly. James Maybrick spent considerable time in America and would have picked up a lot of Americanisms.
                      The article below from 1864 with the headline ATTEMPTED MAYHEM shows when the media may have begun to help redefine the word mayhem and, at the same time, establish the American definition of what constitutes chaos and disorder--namely physical altercations (and loud and strong language) by fellows like said John Dunn.


                      The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 21, 1864, p. 3
                      ATTEMPTED MAYHEM. -- Officers Ball and Glover arrested John Dunn yesterday evening, for taking a man's nose between his teeth and trying to bite it off; he came very near succeeding. After he was locked up in the station house, and as soon as the officers were gone, he got vicious and noisy, and abused the prison-keeper in language as strong and as obscene as he could make it. Captain Douglas came in and started with him to the dark cell, when he resisted furiously and tried his best to experiment on that officer's nose also. That fellow would rather bite a nose than a cream-puff or a banana, any time. The Captain choked him off, however, and shut him into the dark cell with his hands manacled behind
                      him.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jessica Pisces View Post
                        I have to agree with caz and the others who say the Diary uses the term 'mayhem' correctly. James Maybrick spent considerable time in America and would have picked up a lot of Americanisms.
                        The article below from 1864 with the headline ATTEMPTED MAYHEM shows when the media may have begun to help redefine the word mayhem and, at the same time, establish the American definition of what constitutes chaos and disorder--namely physical altercations (and loud and strong language) by fellows like said John Dunn.


                        The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, July 21, 1864, p. 3
                        ATTEMPTED MAYHEM. -- Officers Ball and Glover arrested John Dunn yesterday evening, for taking a man's nose between his teeth and trying to bite it off; he came very near succeeding. After he was locked up in the station house, and as soon as the officers were gone, he got vicious and noisy, and abused the prison-keeper in language as strong and as obscene as he could make it. Captain Douglas came in and started with him to the dark cell, when he resisted furiously and tried his best to experiment on that officer's nose also. That fellow would rather bite a nose than a cream-puff or a banana, any time. The Captain choked him off, however, and shut him into the dark cell with his hands manacled behind
                        him.
                        That's still not "mayhem" as we understand it today, Jessica, and neither does it begin to redefine it. What happened in that snippet (for which many thanks) is clearly still "mayhem" as in "maiming" - not "mayhem" as in "confusion/chaos".

                        As I've pointed out elsewhere, journalists seem to have begun to use the word "mayhem" to describe the hurly-burly of rough or violent sports sometime in the 1950s, and it is this - I suggest - that became generalised and popularised in the public consciousness, at around the same time. It seems likely that this usage in the popular media of the mid-C20th is a feasible mechanism by which the redefined/misunderstood definition of "mayhem [chaos]" could have reached a wider audience.

                        Don't forget that, in parallel with this, radio, movies and early television were making a huge impact not only on people's lives, but on their vocabularies. Such mechanisms didn't exist in the C19th. Even a wealthy and well-travelled Victorian would have been exposed to a mere fraction of new words/meanings, compared to the lowliest worker some 50 years later.
                        Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                        "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                        Comment


                        • Just thought I'd bung in my tuppence on this thread.

                          I dunno about any 'incontrovertible' fact refuting the diary but, to me, getting down to the nitty gritty of what is and isn't anachronistic in its contents is neither here nor there.

                          I saw the document on display during the Docklands Ripper exhibition last year and my first reaction upon seeing the handwriting was very simply...'Naah!'

                          The handwriting just doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, ring true. It just looks far too...modern.

                          No doubt some will see this as an indication of authenticity. Why, they might say, would a forger not attempt to go to greater lengths to either a) produce something closer to Maybrick's actual hand? or b) disguise their own modern comprehensive biro technique?

                          Apologists will always find some tenuous thread to hang onto. But surely for the serious student, its game over for the diary. The provenance is all but non-existent and even comes with a ridiculous free gift in the form of a pocket watch marked with the words 'I am Jack.'!!

                          Its all far, far too good -or more accurately extremely bad- to be true.
                          Last edited by Scotland Yard; 06-29-2009, 12:26 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Sam Flynn View Post
                            What happened in that snippet (for which many thanks) is clearly still "mayhem" as in "maiming" - not "mayhem" as in "confusion/chaos".
                            The definition of mayhem was broadened in the US in the 19th Century to include all types of violence and injury (Sol Steinmetz, Semantic Antics). This redefinition permitted the labelling of, not just the violent, but the simply unruly, masses as creators of disorder. I don't doubt the fact the word begins with may as in Mayday or Maypole also had an influence in the choice based on American bias. Americans may have been using British words like Bedlam and Pandemonium, which are derived from Bethlehem Asylums and Pandemonia, Milton's capital of Hell, until they could use mayhem.

                            And yes, Soothsayer, I see letters on the wall. But the M is cut off and rounded so it could be a vesica pisces for all I know.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Jessica Pisces View Post
                              The definition of mayhem was broadened in the US in the 19th Century to include all types of violence and injury (Sol Steinmetz, Semantic Antics). This redefinition permitted the labelling of, not just the violent, but the simply unruly, masses as creators of disorder. I don't doubt the fact the word begins with may as in Mayday or Maypole also had an influence in the choice based on American bias. Americans may have been using British words like Bedlam and Pandemonium, which are derived from Bethlehem Asylums and Pandemonia, Milton's capital of Hell, until they could use mayhem.

                              And yes, Soothsayer, I see letters on the wall. But the M is cut off and rounded so it could be a vesica pisces for all I know.
                              Heya Jessica,

                              If you search for "semantic antics mayhem" in Google you can see the complete text, but although it does state that the usage was broadened in the 1800s to include "any violent behavior" that is clearly not the usage in the diary. Steinmetz dates the further generalization to include "rowdy disorder, confusion, chaos" to the 1970s which seems a bit late to me, but 50s or 70s we're still way past 1888.

                              The "Mayday" distress code may have influenced the expansion of the usage of mayhem, but that was implemented as a radio distress call. The usage of Mayday (if Wikipedia is to believed and I wouldn't take it as gospel) was adopted in 1923.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by John Hacker View Post
                                Steinmetz dates the further generalization to include "rowdy disorder, confusion, chaos" to the 1970s which seems a bit late to me
                                The June 2009 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary has the earliest printed reference to that meaning in the Daily Mirror of the 15th of March 1976, John. Chances are that this meaning had entered the vernacular before then, of course. The 1950s onwards sound about right to me - for reasons given in my previous post.
                                but 50s or 70s we're still way past 1888.
                                Indeed - and quite possibly way past the early 20th Century, too.
                                Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                                "Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)

                                Comment

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