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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Letters and Communications > From Hell (Lusk) Letter

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  #1  
Old 11-11-2010, 06:32 AM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Default Written in an imitative Irish/"foreign" patois?

This is an idea I've seen bandied about by a variety of authors who approach the thing from different angles, but never seem to have connected it one to the other: that the "From Hell" letter is written with the intent to be read aloud with a distinctly 'non-English' accent.

Probably the most compelling evidence towards this end is the spelling of "preserved" as 'prasarved', which, when spoken out loud, sounds almost exactly the stereotype of the Irish brogue.

If this is the case, then I feel it's safe to say that the author, whatever his (or her) relation to the crimes, was not Irish or "foreign", for the simple fact that non-Englishmen who are capable of writing English write it just the same as the British do. If this was a deliberate effort to cast aspersions on an accented foreign underclass, then it almost inevitably follows that the author was not a member of it.

How do you feel on the subject?
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2010, 07:42 PM
Steven Russell Steven Russell is offline
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Hello, DD.
I don't agree that the letter is meant to sound Irish. To me, "presairved" would be closer to a southern Irish pronunciation while a northern Irish version would look the same as the correct spelling. Unless the author was a pirate, the only thing we can glean from "prasarved" is that either he could not spell "preserved" or wanted us to think so.

Nor am I convinced that the salutation reads as "Sor". It could easily be "Sir" with the dot missed off the "i" - although a point against this is that all other dots seem to be present and correct.

And who, apart from Sean Connery, says "mishter"? Again, not particularly Irish to my mind.

But of course we will never know and you may be right. This has been discussed here before and as I recall, few people - if any - could be persuaded to change their opinion either way. It is probably a good example of confirmation bias: we all tend to embrace "evidence" and argument which supports our theory while dismissing anything which does not.

A poll might be interesting though. Along the lines of:
was the author
a) Irish,
b) pretending to be Irish,
c) neither.

Should we set one up?

Best wishes,
Steve.

Last edited by Steven Russell : 11-11-2010 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Spelling!
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2010, 08:21 PM
Rubyretro Rubyretro is offline
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Default

Quote:
A poll might be interesting though. Along the lines of:
was the author
a) Irish,
b) pretending to be Irish,
c) neither.

Should we set one up?

Best wishes,
Steve.
[/quote]

Good idea -I'd vote 'b'
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:36 AM
Defective Detective Defective Detective is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Russell View Post
A poll might be interesting though. Along the lines of:
was the author
a) Irish,
b) pretending to be Irish,
c) neither.

Should we set one up?
Yeah, that sounds great. I leave it to you to do. I'd recommend including one other option, which is 'pretending to be a non-Irish foreigner', as that's always a possibility.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:49 AM
Tecs Tecs is offline
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Default

Nor am I convinced that the salutation reads as "Sor". It could easily be "Sir" with the dot missed off the "i"


Am I right in remembering that about 25 years ago(ish) everybody did read it as "Sir" and it is only at some point in the years afterwards that people began to see it as "Sor"?

It may be just the order in which I read the various books, but I'm sure that it always used to be "Sir"?

Regards,
__________________
If I have seen further it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.

Last edited by Tecs : 11-12-2010 at 12:53 AM.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2010, 12:51 AM
Tecs Tecs is offline
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And who, apart from Sean Connery, says "mishter"? Again, not particularly Irish to my mind.

Couldn't agree more, I've never understood why "mishter" is supposed to be Irish? None of my Irish friends say it like that?

Regards,
__________________
If I have seen further it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2010, 01:18 AM
Chris Chris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecs View Post
Am I right in remembering that about 25 years ago(ish) everybody did read it as "Sir" and it is only at some point in the years afterwards that people began to see it as "Sor"?

It may be just the order in which I read the various books, but I'm sure that it always used to be "Sir"?
Quite right. Everyone read it as "Sir" for about the first hundred years after the murders. "Sor" is a relatively recent innovation.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2010, 01:37 AM
Tecs Tecs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Quite right. Everyone read it as "Sir" for about the first hundred years after the murders. "Sor" is a relatively recent innovation.
Thanks Chris, it's great to know that my memory still works occasionally!

Regards,
__________________
If I have seen further it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2010, 02:21 AM
Edward Edward is offline
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Default He's Scottish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Russell View Post

And who, apart from Sean Connery, says "mishter"? Again, not particularly Irish to my mind.
Sean Connery was born in Scotland.

Edward
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2010, 04:50 AM
Steven Russell Steven Russell is offline
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Default

It seems that today's Ripper experts are divided as to the salutation. While the new A-Z transcribes it as Sor, Letters From Hell has it as Sir. I wonder what Keith Skinner thinks since he is co-author of both. Anyway, I'll set up the poll as discussed.

Best wishes,
Steve.
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