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One Incontrovertible, Unequivocal, Undeniable Fact Which Refutes the Diary

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  • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post

    Computer says no.
    Indeed, MrB, but you should know (is a 'barnett' not some sort of Cockneyesque for 'bonnet'?).

    I think what you have established beyond any doubt whatsoever with your Ngram search is that no-one, ever ever ever ever ever, could have used the term 'mole bonnet' and certainly not in 1904 when Mrs Redfern was wearing hers. Maybe she didn't? Maybe it was all a hoax?

    How could Ngrams be wrong?

    Cheers,

    Ike
    Iconoclast

    Comment


    • Originally posted by erobitha View Post
      This seems a good place as any to remind people of this article I have posted before. One for the Ngrammers out there.

      Wired is a leading tech magazine.

      https://www.wired.com/2015/10/pitfal...-google-ngram/
      Hmmm.

      So I guess what you're potentially saying ero b is that Google Ngrams is potentially a very flawed tool when assessing the potential for terms like 'one off instance', 'bumbling buffoon', etc., to be used in the LVP?

      That must surely cast significant doubt on claims that certain phrases used in the Victorian scrapbook categorically prove it to be a hoax?

      Hmmm.

      Makes you think, does it not?

      Ike
      Thinking Loudly
      Iconoclast

      Comment


      • Hi Ike.

        I am hesitant to contribute further to this colossal waste of space, but as you seem to be struggling with technological issues, I’ll give you a head’s up.

        Concerning the 'zero' result for 'mole bonnet.’ The reason is painfully obvious.

        As once mentioned on the 'nGram' thread, google nGrams don't search past paywalls. It's called "Google Books nGrams" for a reason; it searches the books Google has digitized--a reported 1.6 million books from before the 20th Century (or so I read).

        So a zero result would tend to confirm that a phrase's usage was exceedingly rare in the 19th Century.

        That's said, one needs to cast the net further, and as I stated several times, to get a better picture one would also have to consult other sources, such as the OED, and go beyond nGrams, and run these same phrases through paywall search engines at British and American newspaper archives, some of which now have tens or even hundreds of millions of pages of print.

        This is why the futile attempts of those defending the diary to find "bumbling buffoon" in those newspaper archives is so telling. A popular insult is precisely the sort of thing we would expect to find in a newspaper. They include political debates (some of them quite nasty), letters to the editor, comical stories told in a conversation manner, theatre reviews, trial transcripts, early comic strips (in the 20th Century), etc.

        Yet y’all can still find no example of the rare adjective 'bumbling' coupled with fool, idiot, etc., let alone "bumbling buffoon." The single, solitary and doubtful example produced was not only not coupled with buffoon, it was not even stand-alone; it was in a group of rhyming words--stumbling jumbling, etc. where one could expect to find nonsensical words tossed in for comic effect.

        By contrast, when the diary first emerged in the 1990s, with its unbonded ink, its modern take on Abberline, and its reference to a police inventory list not published until 1987, the phrase "bumbling buffoon" was indisputably in wide use.

        So, looked at objectively, which century is more likely to have produced this phrase? As Yabs has pointed out; the phrase is used twice—suggesting it was a recognizable one.

        So which explanation is more reasonable? A theoretical, uncorroborated usage in the 1880s, or demonstrated use starting in the years before the diary's first appearance?

        And the idea that commonly used phrases would only appear in private letters (now conveniently lost), yet never appear in the vast troves of surviving journalism, is…well, just the sort of suggestion we would expect from a partisan commentator, where hope springs eternal.

        Using this same reasoning, almost nothing could ever be shown to be anachronistic; one simply argues that the phrase stayed underground for decades. Disaster averted.

        By the way, another phrase from the diary that gives a zero nGram result is "gorge out an eye."

        It's a zippo, zero, nadda results. Why? Because it's a malaprop. The diarist meant "gouge out an eye."

        Yet, even though Google Books nGrams gives a zero result, one can still find 8 examples of its use in a broader Google search, by modern bloggers who have used the same malaprop as the diarist.

        Meanwhile, there are some 18,000 results for 'gouge out an eye'. So much for the diarist James Maybrick being a wordsmith with a fine ear for conversational English.

        Finally, as once confirmed by Caroline Brown (or was it Keith Skinner?) there is someone intimately connected to the Maybrick Hoax who is known for using malaprops.

        Any guess who it was? And might this be suggestive of anything?
        Last edited by rjpalmer; 10-08-2021, 05:46 PM.

        Comment


        • Ike -- one more thing.

          Isn’t the suggestion that ‘one off’ is a term from horse husbandry –an unruly colt, or some such meaning--susceptible to the ‘holy writ’ accusation?

          There is no indication in the text itself that the diarist would know obscure terms from horse husbandry, and, in the context ‘one off’ is used, the suggestion is strained.

          Nor does it seem at all likely that the average literary hoaxer would have such knowledge. And we can insist on using the term ‘hoaxer’ because we are all adults and the handwriting is not Maybrick’s, etc.

          By contrast, when the diary first emerged in the 1990s, everyone and their dog knew what ‘one off’ meant, and they didn’t need to be to be a wordsmith or a horse breeder to do so.

          Ah, but there is evidence that the diarist would know horsey terms: he is James Maybrick, a horse-betting man who attended the Grand National! (Yes, this argument has been used—look for it).

          Come clean, old boy. Is this reasoning not an example of the diary being ‘holy writ’?

          The evidence is self-referencing. An obvious interpretation is traded-in for a doubtful one, based on the ‘evidence’ that Maybrick, a horsey man, is the author.

          Which is circular.

          PS. If we don’t have a chance to talk again soon, let me extend my warm wishes for a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a lovely Easter.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
            Ike -- one more thing.

            Isn’t the suggestion that ‘one off’ is a term from horse husbandry –an unruly colt, or some such meaning--susceptible to the ‘holy writ’ accusation?

            There is no indication in the text itself that the diarist would know obscure terms from horse husbandry, and, in the context ‘one off’ is used, the suggestion is strained.

            Nor does it seem at all likely that the average literary hoaxer would have such knowledge. And we can insist on using the term ‘hoaxer’ because we are all adults and the handwriting is not Maybrick’s, etc.

            By contrast, when the diary first emerged in the 1990s, everyone and their dog knew what ‘one off’ meant, and they didn’t need to be to be a wordsmith or a horse breeder to do so.

            Ah, but there is evidence that the diarist would know horsey terms: he is James Maybrick, a horse-betting man who attended the Grand National! (Yes, this argument has been used—look for it).

            Come clean, old boy. Is this reasoning not an example of the diary being ‘holy writ’?

            The evidence is self-referencing. An obvious interpretation is traded-in for a doubtful one, based on the ‘evidence’ that Maybrick, a horsey man, is the author.

            Which is circular.

            PS. If we don’t have a chance to talk again soon, let me extend my warm wishes for a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a lovely Easter.
            Maybrick ‘rode to hounds’ didn’t he? A horse owner presumably, someone who bought horses, stabled them and was aware of horsey terms. Not just a gambling man.

            What’s being offered is a plausible alternative to the absolute certainty of the modern usage.

            Your ‘old boy’ puts me in mind of Lord O’s ‘dear boy’.
            Last edited by MrBarnett; 10-08-2021, 05:59 PM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Ash View Post
              Of course, you are absolutely right, Tom. There is no one incontrovertible, unequivocal or undeniable fact that refutes the diary. If there were, you would never have started this thread, because we would have stopped talking about it long ago.

              However, in asking for one, you are holding the diary to a higher standard than we expect when exercising our daily rights as members of society. The law of the land does not require things to be incontrovertible, unequivocal or undeniable. In a court of law, all that is required is to demonstrate a fact "beyond a reasonable doubt." In other words, we have to prove that the weight of evidence suggests that no other explanation is remotely likely.

              Do we have that in the case of the diary? Yes, we do. If the diary had got one fact wrong, featured one anachronism, had one thing about it that didn't add up, a thinking man could accept that. If there were two or three, it still would be open to debate. But the sheer number of them that we are required to accept in order for the diary to be the genuine article is far beyond the limits of any reasonable person's tolerance. And your article, far from arguing in favour of the diary, has simply served as a perfect illustration of that fact.


              What a great post! and that was the post number 11 on this thread! 13 years ago!

              Even before the discovery of the "One off instance"!
              And before the discovery of the "Aunt" fatal error!
              And before the discovery of the "Spreading mayhem"
              And even before the "Bumbling Buffoon" anachronism that cracked this hoax in the middle!


              Wherever you are now Ash, Thank You!



              The Baron

              Comment


              • Originally posted by The Baron View Post



                What a great post! and that was the post number 11 on this thread! 13 years ago!

                Even before the discovery of the "One off instance"!
                And before the discovery of the "Aunt" fatal error!
                And before the discovery of the "Spreading mayhem"
                And even before the "Bumbling Buffoon" anachronism that cracked this hoax in the middle!


                Wherever you are now Ash, Thank You!



                The Baron
                I think I know the answer to this one!

                They will be sitting wading through every pre-1947 text he or she can find in order to understand how it was that people could possibly have enjoyed the delights of freshly-picked carrots before Google Ngrams apparently invented them.

                Ike
                Iconoclast

                Comment


                • It’s a shame but the radio times Genome feature was searchable by keywords for a tv programs synopsis, but it seems you can now only search for program titles now.

                  The searchable records date back to the 20s and when I searched for bumbling buffoon a while back it started to appear on the tv/radio blurbs in the 80s and 90s to describe popular film and tv characters like Mr Bean and Nigel Bruce’s doctor Watson.
                  It seems to be a phrase used a lot by journalists.
                  So all the more strange why it doesn’t appear much earlier than the 80s in the radio times Genome, and it can’t be found in a newspaper archive search for the Victorian era either.
                  Does all this mean it 100% didn’t exist as a phrase back then? No.

                  But by golly it’s a fair indicator that it didn’t.
                  Last edited by Yabs; 10-09-2021, 04:26 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Yabs View Post
                    It’s a shame but the radio times Genome feature was searchable by keywords for a tv programs synopsis, but it seems you can now only search for program titles now.

                    The searchable records date back to the 20s and when I searched for bumbling buffoon a while back it started to appear on the tv blurbs in the 80s and 90s to describe popular film and tv characters like Mr Bean and Nigel Bruce’s doctor Watson.
                    It seems to be a phrase used a lot by journalists.
                    So all the more strange why it doesn’t appear much earlier than the 80s in the radio times Genome, and it can’t be found in a newspaper archive search for the Victorian era either.
                    Does all this mean it 100% didn’t exist as a phrase back then? No.

                    But by golly it’s a fair indicator that it didn’t.


                    "Bumbling Buffoon" even appears in the same paragraph with "one off instance" (and "stupid bitch") !!




                    The Baron

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Yabs View Post
                      It’s a shame but the radio times Genome feature was searchable by keywords for a tv programs synopsis, but it seems you can now only search for program titles now.

                      The searchable records date back to the 20s and when I searched for bumbling buffoon a while back it started to appear on the tv/radio blurbs in the 80s and 90s to describe popular film and tv characters like Mr Bean and Nigel Bruce’s doctor Watson.
                      It seems to be a phrase used a lot by journalists.
                      So all the more strange why it doesn’t appear much earlier than the 80s in the radio times Genome, and it can’t be found in a newspaper archive search for the Victorian era either.
                      Does all this mean it 100% didn’t exist as a phrase back then? No.

                      But by golly it’s a fair indicator that it didn’t.
                      It’s not phrase, though, is it, Yabs. It’s just two words that fit comfortably together - then as now.




                      Comment


                      • Oh dear, Baron, he of the irritating emojis meant to belittle those he’s responding to, has reported me for calling him ‘Barren’.

                        It’s a fair cop. I’ll go quietly.


                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Iconoclast View Post

                          Indeed, MrB, but you should know (is a 'barnett' not some sort of Cockneyesque for 'bonnet'?).

                          I think what you have established beyond any doubt whatsoever with your Ngram search is that no-one, ever ever ever ever ever, could have used the term 'mole bonnet' and certainly not in 1904 when Mrs Redfern was wearing hers. Maybe she didn't? Maybe it was all a hoax?

                          How could Ngrams be wrong?

                          Cheers,

                          Ike
                          ‘Barnet’ is rhyming slang for hair (Barnet Fair).

                          ‘Titfer’ (tit-for-tat) is hat.

                          Comment


                          • Who was the greater wordsmith of his time, Alfred, Lord Tennyson or James Maybrick?

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Harry D View Post
                              Who was the greater wordsmith of his time, Alfred, Lord Tennyson or James Maybrick?
                              Those Victorians were very conventional when it came to language. The Queen’s English was sacrosanct:


                              ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

                              Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

                              All mimsy were the borogoves,

                              And the mome raths outgrabe.


                              Comment


                              • "Her nose annoyed me so I cut it off"


                                This is one example of the lazy writing we find all over the scrapbook, the hoaxer didn't add any depth to the historic fact, no details, no meanings, nothing there, it is empty, shallow and fruitless.


                                Imagine a scholar of the case or an historian who spent some +30 years studying the case reading this scrapbook and this sentence for the first time, he would say to himself:


                                - Ahaaa now I know why the Ripper cut Eddowes nose, because it annoyed him!


                                I wouldn't ask for more than this to deem this a hoax, and a cheap one for that.




                                The Baron

                                Comment

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