The time-sheets prove Rigby was the only man working the week ending March 10 (on the company's work schedule, apparently, not by calendar), who had been largely alone in the room which had been Maybrick's bedroom...
...I think I'll need to re-read that chapter later...
Hmmm, I think you better had, Pcdunn. It's a pity you didn't read it again before posting.
The time sheet clearly shows two men working on the first floor on Monday 9 March: A. Rigby working 8 hours; J. Coufopolous working 2.
Now can I please go away and trust you lot not to make a pig's ear out of every blessed thing while I'm gone?
__________________ "Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." Peter Ustinov
Quite correct, Caz. But, to be fair, there's not much Coufopolous could have done in those two hours, apart from the electrician's equivalent of hod carrying, with perhaps enough time to fit in a tea break or a cheeky poo.
Give her a call - extensive written usage from at least as early as 1860, as an alternative to 'pay her a call/visit'.
I'm not convinced that the diarist meant to say that he'd pay Queen Victoria a visit, but that he'd "get in touch" with her. I'd suggest that it's more likely that the diarist unthinkingly used a phrase that had become almost reflexively used by the wider public in an age of mass telephony.
Top myself - slang term in conversation, to mean 'hang myself', from at least as early as 1877.
As I've already noted, the article which Gary found had to explain what "top myself" meant to its readers, as it was a slang term. It is rather unlikely that a reasonably well-to-do Victorian (or a near-contemporary pretending to be same) would have known the phrase, even in the "hanging" sense. It seems far more likely to me, again, that the phrase was being used by someone at a time when it was far more widely known. I'd suggest that this only became possible at a time when gritty, popular TV programmes (e.g. Minder or Porridge) had brought slang terms like "top myself" to the attention of the wider public.
Spreads mayhem - either as in using a knife to spread 'mangled' or 'mutilated' bodies around town
The funny little rhyme in question is poking fun at the chaos that "Maybrick" is causing up and down the country. In that context, the diarist is using the phrase to mean "spread confusion"; one doesn't spread mangled bodies throughout the land (not town), and neither did the Ripper.
or causing 'chaos' - the latter according to two dictionaries from 1880 and 1890. [Robert Smith]
I can't find the two dictionary entries referred to, Caz. Can you give me a link?
You were saying?
I was saying what I've been saying all along. Namely that, even if these weren't true anachronisms, we still have to account why a cluster of "near-anachronisms" end up together in one comparatively short text. The author either had his/her ear glued to the word on da streets, or they were writing at a time when all four* phrases had unequivocally passed into common parlance. I believe that the latter explanation is by far the more likely.
* I say four, because we still have "one-off instance" to account for. Again, something which could have been written in the 1880s, but which would have far more likely to have been written when the phrase had passed into everyday, casual speech.
Kind regards, Sam Flynn
"Suche Nullen" (Nietzsche, Götzendämmerung, 1888)
Last edited by Sam Flynn : 09-20-2017 at 06:25 AM.
Reason: fixed typo
If someone was to refer to this in a book, how would they go about referencing it, Mike? "The pub was definitely known locally as the Poste House" (reference). You then look up the reference at the back of the book and it states, "Some random bloke I met in a pub." Oh dear!
Nobody is suggesting that the University visit happened on March 9th, merely that the Diary was found that day, Barrett got wind of it in the Saddle (probably around lunchtime), and then (under the guise of Mr Williams) made his call to Doreen Montgomery before he'd actually got his hands on it. Subsequently, some electricians took something to the Uni for inspection which may or may not have been the Diary. All we know for sure here is that said journal was in Barrett's possession by the time of his first visit to the offices of Rupert Crew on April 13th.
I've actually just checked The Inside Story and it states that Barrett's second call to Doreen was the following day, March 10th, and during that call he related how the discovery of Diary had affected his life and that, following some initial research, he was sure it was genuine. I must say, I really can't buy the story of the Diary coming out of Battlecrease on March 9th.
1) Who has verified the time of the diary's discovery as being in the morning? Surely if Barrett found out at lunchtime, then the diary was discovered in the morning, so where's the evidence?
2) How did Rigby make contact to a friend and have them seek out Barrett?
3) For what reason would a supposed "simpleton" like Barrett be sought out in this regard?
4) Why is the university story so utterly vague and secretive?
None of the timeline adds up, unless we make allowances by making up details, such as the diary being found in the morning, allowing time for Rigby to presumably walk around to the phone-box(?) and call his mate, with the mate suddenly deciding to contact a simple bloke from his local boozer.
He suggests a "courier" (possibly the apprentice who worked only two hours in the morning, or a friend who was not working the same job) took the book to the university during the day. He says the university does agree two men brought in something to be looked at, but they didn't have details as to what or to whom. He also offers the detail that the book was in a "biscuit tin, with a gold wedding ring", but as the involved electricians deny seeing such a thing (and neither the tin nor the ring has turned up), he can't pursue it further.
I think I'll need to re-read that chapter later...
Here's my problem with the university story, did it go something like this?
Unnamed Electrician: I'll go and find the phone-box and contact Liverpool University.
Unnamed Electrician goes to phone-box, presumably the one near the chemist, as there are no others, obviously rings the local operator and asks for the number for the university.
Local Operator: Which university department would that be, sir?
Unnamed Electrician: Hmmm, any!
Local Operator puts him through to where? There are several university buildings in the city, all dealing with totally different things, from tropical medicine to performing arts.
Anyway, let's presume he's put through to one of these buildings.
Random Uni Receptionist: Hello, random Liverpool University building. How may I help you?
Unnamed Electrician: Erm, allo. My colleague has found an interesting document beneath the floor at a house in Aigburth, can I speak to someone about it today?
Random Uni Receptionist: Erm, I'm sorry, sir, could you repeat that?
Unnamed Electrician: My colleague has found an interesting document beneath the floor at a house in Aigburth, can I speak to someone about it today?
Random Uni Receptionist: Who would you like to speak to, sir?
Unnamed Electrician: Erm, I dunno like.
Random Uni Receptionist: Well, I'll go ahead and contact a member of staff in this random building who may or may not be able to help you. Just pop in today, love, and he'll drop what he's doing and have a look, cos that's how universities work in reality.
Unnamed Electrician: Brilliant! I'll pop in later.
Actually, John, the diary author appears to have spelled it 'rondavous' [or possibly even 'rondevous'], but when the Barretts did the original transcript for Shirley's book, it was rendered 'rondaveau', probably because it's quite difficult to make out.
We don't of course know that much about Maybrick's spelling abilities but I'd say they were average for a merchant who had no higher schooling, and on a par with many more educated posters I've seen here over the years. The diary author, to my mind, was not aiming to portray him as anything but a mister average who likes to think he is smarter than the average bore.
There is nothing else in the diary that would suggest that the writer did not know how to spell. Isn't the punctuation pretty much correctly worked?
People who cannot spell do not tend to spell the odd word incorrectly, it's usually something that you can see examples of from page to page.
Maybrick was presumably a man who spent a lot of time writing correspondence for his job, so I don't automatically assume he was a less than average speller.
Last edited by Mike J. G. : 09-20-2017 at 08:51 AM.
Phew! That was quite exhausting and took all my creative juices.
Coming here sometimes feels like being surrounded by angry wasps - but without the charisma. But if any arsehole would like to spit venom at me in my absence for shamelessly promoting this book, or whinge when I don't immediately answer all their questions about how I arrived at such absurd, credulity-stretching conclusions, would they please form a disorderly queue.
I won't be here. I'll be 'resting'.
Actually, I'm escaping to The Village for some fresh air, sanity and peace and quiet. If you're lucky, and if I'm even luckier, they'll make me stay.
Be seein' you.
You spend a bit of time talking about how nasty it can be around here, yet the above post pretty much sums up what I've seen and thought of your posting history long before I ever came here, Caz. You like to dish it out but you'd rather not have to take it.