Leonard Hevia wrote:Another interesting and entertaining video by Romanoff. Mr. Hatch's anecdote about Alexander presenting his candidate in their hotel room the night before the Conference was worth the price of admission. The writing similarities between Erdnase and Sanders are too compelling to ignore. I wish Mr. Hatch would realize this.
Yes, it was great hearing that anecodote! It surprises me that Richard Hatch doesn't hear the same writing voice in Sanders and Erdnase. I suspect it's partly due to lack of familiarity with Sanders' writing and that looking at illustrative examples (see below) side-by-side can help. The similarities are almost overwhelming.
One point to make first: Erdnase, himself, varies his style quite dramatically throughout the text. The Introduction and Card Table Artifice sections are most strongly what we think of as Erdnase's most characteristic voice. This is where he makes especially incisive comments and most strongly exhibits his personality and mode of thought. Much of the body of the main text, describing sleights, is very analytical and precise. There are generalizations and insights sprinkled throughout, but the main text is primarily focused on clearly describing how to perform the sleights. The third style is in the patter for the tricks, which has a much more oratorical flavor. All three styles, while different, are extremely well executed. Sanders, likewise, exhibits different styles in his various writings on mining, montana history and linguistics, and poems and anecdotes about his college classmates. And his writing effortlessly adapts to these disparate subjects and domains. In addition, Sanders training as an engineer is evident in Erdnase as well. For example, for a one-handed bottom deal, Erdnase describes how "the IMPETUS and DIRECTION given to each card must be nicely CALCULATED
," much as how a physics student would think of the trajectory of body in motion after a force has being applied to it.
Erdnase and Sanders both take delight in pointing out hypocrisy. In this example, they both sarcastically mock the pretensions of so-called "professionals"
and their inflated claims. In doing so, they use the same metaphor (EXHUMING) and almost identical alliteration ("wicked waste" vs " "wiles and wickedness"). Erdnase:
Self-styled "EX-PROFESSIONALS" have regaled the public with ASTOUNDING DISCLOSURES of their former WILES and WICKEDNESS, and have proven a wonderful knowledge of the subject by EXHUMING SOME ANTIQUATED MOSS-COVERED rusesSanders:
certainly in part it is too good to keep, and in a spirit of benevolence and as an offering upon the shrine of professional goodwill toward PROFESSIONAL brethren, the following extracts have been EXHUMED FROM THEIR OBSCURE PLACE OF BURIAL [...] and how many reports PRESUMING TO DESCRIBE mining properties are written that should never have been penned - because of the WICKED WASTE of ink resulting therefrom.
They both characterize the large quantities of worldly knowledge (wisdom) that they acquired in their younger days. And Sanders interestingly characterizes the "hustling" he performed in "many various lines," perhaps in a sly nod to his hustling at the card table.Erdnase:
We naturally began to imbibe WISDOM in COPIOUS DRAUGHTS at the customary sucker rates. ...and the sum of our PRESENT KNOWLEDGE is proffered in this volumeSanders:
We did a lot of hustlin' then and gained a HEAP OF KNOWLEDGE and picked VAST WISDOM UP IN CHUNKS in MANY VARIOUS LINES.
Erdnase is constantly emphasizing the best way to do this or that. Sanders does the same:Erdnase:
It is an EXCELLENT MANNER of holding the deck for the true shuffle, and SHOULD BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO on all occasions. Sanders:
this latter is an AXIOM in mining during this period of development, and SHOULD BE INVARIABLY FOLLOWED where possible.
They both talk about the excellence of devices in almost identical ways.Erdnase:
the MOST novel AND perfect MACHINES EVER CONSTRUCTED Sanders:
the simplest AND MOST easily manipulated DEVICE YET CONSTRUCTED
The often use the same distinctive phrases.Erdnase:
we sorrowfully admit that OUR OWN EARLY KNOWLEDGE was acquired ...Sanders:
From MY EARLY KNOWLEDGE of youErdnase:
The bottom palm may be held while the deal is in progress WITHOUT INCONVENIENCE.Sanders:
leaves sufficient hight for passage WITHOUT INCONVENIENCE.
Or sometimes the same generalization is made (e.g. the impossibility of providing a single formula/description to cover all cases)Erdnase:
It is impossible to give a formula that will answer for every situation. There is no end to the variety of positions the desired cards may be in. Sanders:
To write out in full a sufficient description of any particular locality or working of a mine, or even to explain the locations from which a lot of samples have been taken, would be far too cumbersome for practical purposes.
Anyway, this is just scratching the surface. See http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coyne/erdnase-sanders-use-of-language.html
for approximately 250 corresponding examples between Erdnase and Sanders as well as a summary of the overall evidence and other goodies.