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  • Lord Orsam

Owl Stretching Time

Updated: May 1

"What are my chances?

Not good.

You mean not good like one out of a hundred?

I'd say more like one out of a million.

So you're telling me there's a chance. Yeah!"

From the movie Dumb and Dumber

Diary defenders go from dumb to dumber.

Stephen Owl first of all proves he's an idiot by continuing, after all these years, to think that I'm posting on Casebook as "The Baron".

Given that I know for a fact that I'm not "The Baron", he might just as well send me an email telling me that he is thick as a bag of shite. Because that is what he's saying to me in his posts.

A complete lack of critical thinking ability.

Another post he made on the same day was indicative of his diary defending numptiness.

Responding to a post by Geddy2112 who had said, "I thought it was proven years ago the book was almost certainly a fake" - note the words I've emboldened - our Owly friend twisted the statement so that instead of responding on the question of how the book was proven to be almost certainly a fake, he said with my underlining):

"Nope - 31 years on and nobody has found a single piece of evidence which 100% proves the diary was a modern fake".

No fewer than two distortions in one sentence!

From a statement that the diary has been proved to almost certainly be a fake, the proof Owl decides to talk about is only proof that it's a modern fake, thus apparently accepting that the diary is a proven fake which is really the only thing that matters. Geddy2112 said nothing at all about whether the diary is a modern fake or not because, after all, who cares? The only worthwhile issue is whether the diary was written by Jack the Ripper or not. If it wasn't, it's worthless.

The second distortion was to twist "almost certainly" a fake into100% proof of fakery.

The problem is that there are people who will say that there isn't 100% proof that the world is round, or rather spherical. Others will say that there isn't 100% proof that the holocaust occurred. While others (probably including everyone in the last batch) will say that there isn't 100% proof that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president of the United States.

The demand for "100% proof" in an internet discussion is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It's a far greater burden of proof than is even required for any conviction in a criminal court of law.

Even a DNA match isn't 100% proof of anything. The probability of a DNA match to an individual being someone else's DNA is usually said to be 1 in a billion but that still isn't 100%.

It takes us back to dumb and dumber whereby a one in a million chance, or in other words, in this case, a 0.00001% chance of the diary not being a modern fake, is good enough for him to throw the matter into doubt.

The demand for 100% proof is utterly ridiculous.

Furthermore, it's not the proof that was required in the now closed thread by the original poster. That thread, by it's very title, requested a single incontrovertible, unequivocal and undeniable fact which refutes the diary.

That fact has now been found, although the truth of the matter is that it was spotted immediately when an English language expert read the diary back in 1993 and it's only because Shirley Harrison published a bogus and fake counter-fact in her book of that year that this wasn't widely appreciated. My own contribution in 2016 was not so much to "find" the incontrovertible fact but to confirm its existence.

To be sure, nothing I've said about "one off instance" has ever been controverted. It is unequivocal and there can be no denying that the expression didn't exist in 1888. Diary Defenders avoid talking about the language problems like the plague, especially "one off instance" for which the only responses have been gibberish. On the rare occasions they do talk about the language problems, they try to isolate them. How many times have you ever read a post or article from a diary defender discussing all the language mistakes in the diary? And how many posts or articles have you ever read from a diary defender discussing all of the language and historical mistakes in the diary?

It's why Tom Mitchell's long-heralded "Society's Pillar 2025" has now been put off to 2026 or 2027, according to Mitchell himself, and will, in fact, never be produced because he knows he has no answers.

I've set out the evidence in One Off Article first published in 2019 and which, believe it or not, has never been responded to by a single diary defender.

If you want to know the nub of the proof that "one off instance" couldn't have been written by James Maybrick it's in the list I gave of "one off" related metaphorical expressions found in newspapers in the British Newspaper Archive which show that the very earliest that any such expression is currently known to have appeared in any digitised British newspaper is May 1959. But then we don't find another one until 1965. It's only from 1965 onwards that there is a clear explosion in the use of this extremely useful expression which one now finds almost everywhere in the press on a daily basis.

Just to demonstrate this clearly, of the 61 examples of metaphorical expressions involving "one off", being all the possible examples of such expressions I could think of, such as "one off event", "one off occasion" etc., here are the number of hits for all 61 expressions through five decades starting with the earliest I found of each expression There may be some false positives in the results as well as some duplicates, with identical stories repeated across different newspapers, but it's the same for all decades. Here are the numbers:











These really are startling results.

The above gives a good feel for the explosion of the use of the expression in newspapers in the post World War 2 period. Remember that there are no results at all for any metaphorical type expressions prior to the 1950s. None at all.

It is inconceivable that such a useful expression, if it genuinely existed, would have lain totally dormant in newspapers for more than 70 years, having been used by one lone individual in a private journal in 1888. The very first known use of it prior to October 1958 (outside of newspapers) is 1946. This was the period of evolution before it became mainstream. The use of "one off" had slowly become familiar to the British public through the use of the expression "one off job" since the early part of the 20th century but it wasn't used in a wider context as a metaphor for "one off job" to describe a person or event until after the Second World War. That is just factual, as Mike Barrett would have said. All attempts by diary defenders to find a nineteenth century example of anyone using "one off" in a metaphorical way, as used in the diary, or in any way to mean singular, unique or unrepeated, have failed miserably.

The "Incontrovertible" thread has been closed "until further notice". Frankly Tom Mitchell, the OP, should have announced it to be closed it about eight years ago when presented with the incontrovertible fact he'd requested which proves the diary to be fake. That incontrovertible fact having been provided, it is a dead thread, it has ceased to be.

LORD ORSAM 19 April 2024

Updated 1 May 2024

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19. Apr.
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The use of the anachronistic ‘one off instance’ gives us a 99.9999999% certainty that the diary is a fake. It’s the equivalent of finding that Charles Cross was proven to have been night fishing on the Isle of Skye at 10.00pm on the evening of August 30th 1888.

As a Monty Python fan I loved the title David.

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Lord Orsam
21. Apr.
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No, you haven't.

And this is already better than most arguments on Casebook.

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