ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Ray J
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ray J » March 11th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Zenner wrote:Guess who!


Can you provide a few examples of Benedict's writing to exhibit any syntactic similarities to Erdnase? Being a magician is only half the equation.


If you click on the link that Zenner provided above and read it, there was a sylistic exercise performed in 2011 on 8 candidates for the identity of Erdnase. None of the writings of the original names investigated showed similarity to the Expert. Then, a second round of testing in 2017 which included Benedict, showed that Benedict's writing had a lot in common with the magic section of Expert.

Add to that the bankruptcy and subsequent apparent discharge a year later and I have to believe Benedict is one of the two authors of Expert. The other was likely another magician who enjoyed gambling and was more authoritative on the gambling aspects of the book whereas Benedict was more involved in the legerdemain section.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 11th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Ray J wrote:If you click on the link that Zenner provided above and read it, there was a sylistic exercise performed in 2011 on 8 candidates for the identity of Erdnase. None of the writings of the original names investigated showed similarity to the Expert.


If you go to the actual study itself ("Stylometry and the Search for S. W. Erdnase", Richard Wiseman and David Holmes, Genii, Feb. 2011), you will see that 10 candidates were examined, and that How Gamblers Win by Gerritt Evans (pseud. for Edward Grandin, who died in 1883) matches some of the introductory text to Expert.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » March 12th, 2019, 8:07 am

Bill Mullins wrote: And since the linked article didn't copy any of Wasshuber's or your own work, or anything that appeared on the forum, I can't see how plagiarism is even considered here.


Since I have not published anything about Benedict anywhere else but on this Forum, they have obviously obtained their information on him from here and from me. It would have been courtesy for them to credit their source. As has been shown in the past few years, Chris can fight his own battles :-)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 12th, 2019, 11:01 am

Zenner wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote: And since the linked article didn't copy any of Wasshuber's or your own work, or anything that appeared on the forum, I can't see how plagiarism is even considered here.


Since I have not published anything about Benedict anywhere else but on this Forum, they have obviously obtained their information on him from here and from me. It would have been courtesy for them to credit their source.


Yes, a footnote acknowledging the source would have been appropriate. But a simple statement that reiterates your conclusion hardly rises to the level of plagiarism. To an academic, plagiarism is a mortal sin, and can be a career-ender. You shouldn't fling that word around when it isn't appropriate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 12th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Another reversed-name pseudonym:

Science fiction author Harlan Ellison had a story called "Assassin!" published in the Feb 1957 issue of Science Fiction Adventures. Just a few months before, however, in Science Fiction Five-Yearly #2 (Nov-Dec 1956), he started a serial called "!Nissassa" under the pseudonym of Nalrah Nosille.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2019, 4:19 pm

? where did you find that story - found "The Way of the Assassin"
https://fritzfreiheit.com/wiki/Harlan_Ellison
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » March 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: Yes, a footnote acknowledging the source would have been appropriate.


Thank you.

But a simple statement that reiterates your conclusion hardly rises to the level of plagiarism. To an academic, plagiarism is a mortal sin, and can be a career-ender. You shouldn't fling that word around when it isn't appropriate.


My conclusion was that I thought Benedict was Erdnase. The research that led me to that conclusion was posted on this Forum and some of it found its way into David Holmes' article. That information was unearthed by me and anyone passing it on should, I believe, have credited their source.

I used to respect John Booth until he obtained the Jeff Busby material and rushed to get it into print before Jeff could get his Whaley book out. If a certain academic does that same dirty trick on me, I will be most upset.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 12th, 2019, 9:15 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:The evidence (in the 1870 phrase book, modern blogs, and default assumptions based on the established meaning of "palming" on its own) points towards it being understood as referring to sleight of hand (covertly hiding something in the palm).


The "evidence" you've mentioned isn't all that good. The 1870 dictionary doesn't match contemporary usage of "palm off" (i.e., it is wrong), and modern blogs and default assumptions don't apply to the late 1800s. The best scholarship in lexicography is found in historical dictionaries like the OED. A word's meaning is derived from its usage. If people use "palm off" to mean sleight-of-hand, then that's what it means. If they use it in another sense, then it doesn't mean sleight-of-hand. So you have to find examples of usage and from context, derive the meaning. (This is why the OED includes so many quotations that use a word or phrase).

Yes, things could have changed in the interpretation of "palm off" from 1900 to now, but is there good evidence for that? If anything I'd expect the literal interpretation (of palming as sleight of hand) to fade over time, not get stronger. Plus Brewer's entry shows, the phrase was believed to have sleight of hand connotations/derivation in 1875. Whether right in the details or not, that clearly seems to have been the belief, which is what really matters.

Regarding the OED. It doesn't include Erdnase's more common literal variant of the phrasal verb "palm off" (for loading into the palm) either. So I don't think you can draw conclusions from its absence. Apparently phrasal senses are often not cited in the OED (http://homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/ ... amont.html).

As I mentioned, most of the people I've informally asked (4/5, including one PhD Linguist/author) have assumed some sleight-of-hand/palming intepretation, though none with certainty. Not being magicians, they had only vague notions of what it actually entailed, but they were aware of the idea of hiding something in the palm in order to do sneaky things, and that's what they are connecting to. People infer/assume this intuitively. If you know what "palming" is (even vaguely), then "palm off" as sleight of hand is a logical interpretation and easily attaches to the figurative sense. Similar to how "hand off" or "pass off" are conceptually derived from "hand" and "pass" respectively. Phrasal verbs like these often follow semi-regular patterns in terms of how the particle ("off" in this case) modifies the verb to produce the new meaning. People produce those interpretations quite naturally.

For reference, here's an assortment of a dozen quotes/definitions culled from Google searches, all pointing toward using sleight of hand (to conceal an object in the palm in order to secretly load somewhere else) as the literal interpretation of "palm off" in concert with the figurative sense used by Sanders.

1) Brewer -- to PALM OFF wares, tricks, etc, upon the unwary. The allusion is to jugglers, who CONCEAL IN THE PALM OF THEIR HAND what they pretend to dispose of in some other way. These jugglers were sometimes called palmers. Juggler means a player on a jongleur a sort of hurdy-gurdy. These jugglers accompanied the minstrels and troubadours, to assist them, and added to their musical talents SLEIGHT-OF-HAND, antics, and feats of prowess, to amuse the company assembled. In time the music was dropped as the least attractive, and tricks became the staple of these wandering performers.

2) this generation of Irish abroad, which is highly educated, will not be PALMED OFF WITH SUCH A SLEIGHT-OF-HAND, the political equivalent of sending a monkey into space.

3) Had an artificially-dated planet been PALMED OFF ON US by a clever SLEIGHT-OF-HAND ARTIST we would not be without excuse, we'd have a great excuse!

4) It is a shame that the ACCG does not affirm its support of a transparent and accountable antiquities trade so that collectors can buy in confidence they are not having looted and smuggled items PALMED OFF ON THEM BY SLEIGHT OF HAND of dealers' suppliers.

5) The phrase “TO PALM OFF” something literally means to use SLEIGHT OF HAND, a magician’s trick with reality, to sell as genuine alternative facts or products with the intention to deceive.

6) “Pawn off” is an interesting mishearing of “PALM OFF.” The original term with “palm” means to pass something off to some unwitting person — a usage Merriam Webster’s says is PROBABLY A REFERENCE TO CHEATING AT CARDS OR SLEIGHT-OF-HAND TRICKS.

7) PALM OFF -- Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive, as in The salesman tried to palm off a zircon as a diamond, or The producer tried to palm her off as a star from the Metropolitan Opera. This expression alludes to CONCEALING SOMETHING IN THE PALM OF ONE'S HAND. It replaced the earlier palm on in the early 1800s.

8) Mcgraw-Hill's dictionary of American Idioms -- PALM SOMEONE OR SOMETHING OFF† (on someone) (as someone or something) and pass someone or something off† (on someone) (as someone or something); pawn someone or something off† (on someone) (as someone or something) Fig. to give someone or something to someone as a gift that appears to be someone or something desirable. (As if the gift had been CONCEALED IN ONE’S PALM UNTIL IT WAS GOTTEN RID OF.)

9) Thus, the phrase "pawn off" should be used only when referring to trading an item as collateral for a loan. That hasn't stopped people from confusing the saying with the similar-sounding "PALM OFF," which means to get rid of something or someone by means of deception [source: Macmillan Dictionary]. This PHRASE LIKELY CAME FROM CARD-PLAYING AND CONCEALING CARDS IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND.

10) Redal-Stan chuckled. "You saw her PALM IT OFF INTO MY CUP, too, eh?"

11) Examiner 1852 -- You must not change the name of the thing. Conjure it and deal with it by whatever SLEIGHT OF HAND they may, they would never think they can PALM IT OFF UPON the people of England under another name.

12) By a SLEIGHT-OF-HAND, B.P. flashes the legitimate burden upon a proponent to sustain an action and tries to PALM IT OFF AS a transferred burden. Though it may work with rabbits, the SLEIGHT-OF-HAND won't work with the allocation of the burden of proof.

If you could show significant usage in the late 1800s where people said or wrote "palm/palmed off" and clearly meant it to mean "I concealed something in my palm and got rid of it," then the argument that Sanders was referring to sleight of hand would become stronger. But I don't think that such usage exists. When people said "palm/palmed off", they meant to pass on something without the receiver being aware of the nature of what was being passed. The act of passing was not secret (as it would be if it were palmed in the sleight-of-hand sense); it was overt. The deception was in the thing being passed.

I think you're highlighting the figurative sense (an entity getting transfered to someone by deception without knowing it or knowing exactly what they're getting). However, the literal interpretation doesn't get to be a "palmed off" restatement of the figurative one! :-) Instead, I think the literal connotation of "palm off" is most likely connected to the verb "palm" and hence refers to some variant of sleight of hand and, specifically, hiding in the PALM. Maybe people don't think of any literal connotations and the figurative one totally dominates, in which case the point is moot. But if they do, then the question is what is the most likely concrete interpretation of what it is.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2019, 9:44 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:... I think the literal connotation of "palm off" is most likely connected to the verb "palm" and hence refers to some variant of sleight of hand and, specifically, hiding in the PALM.
To palm off of or to palm off upon? While there may be some deception involved in both activities - the latter is an openly visible deposit and former a secretly managed withdrawal. Fire bugs may cause fires but lightning bugs are not known to cause lightning. In magic texts on sleight of hand it's palm off (of). Though in ad copy... ;)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 12th, 2019, 10:14 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:... I think the literal connotation of "palm off" is most likely connected to the verb "palm" and hence refers to some variant of sleight of hand and, specifically, hiding in the PALM.
To palm off upon or to palm off of? While there may be some deception involved in both activities - one is an openly visible deposit and the other a secretly managed withdrawal. Fire bugs may cause fires but lightning bugs are not known to cause lightning.

The phrasal verb "palm off" seems to have a couple related senses. "I palmed off three cards (from the top of the deck)" and "I palmed off the prediction (into his coat pocket)" are both variants of palming but highlight different aspects (loading vs unloading). In general, verbs can be very flexible with how they allow different semantic roles to be filled by the same syntactic argument (and vice versa). And this affects what aspect of an overall action is highlighted. E.g. "He shot the gun" (weapon) vs "he shot the deer" (target) vs "he shot the bullets" (projectile). In one, you don't know if anything was targeted, while in another you don't know what weapon was used, etc.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 12th, 2019, 10:22 pm

A shot of vs a shot at. Photograph, liquor, or target. Different ideas.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » March 12th, 2019, 11:00 pm

Bob. No one would ever say they palmed off the prediction into someone’s pocket. And even if they did - that isn’t congruent with the Act of misrepresentation at the heart of the phrases idiomatic use.

Is this the hill on which you’ve chosen to die?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 12th, 2019, 11:03 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:A shot of vs a shot at. Photograph, liquor, or target. Different ideas.

Shooting a photograph is likely a metaphorical extension of shooting a weapon (involves aiming some instrument at a target, triggering the shooting event). And perhaps "he shot the liquor down his throat" would be similar, focusing on the liquor as the projectile. And then that's nominalized into "a shot of liquor." So I think these are all metaphorical extensions rather than literal variants.

In contrast, the various versions of shooting weapon/target/projectile are literal variants just as are the phases of palming (the loading vs unloading). However, once "palming off" gets used figuratively (where no actual palming takes place), it still relates to the literal sense but focuses instead on something being foisted onto someone by deceptive means. A similar thing could be said of "he shot down all her ideas in the meeting" where the connection to literal "shoot" is clear, but the physical entities (weapons, projectiles) are mapped to a conceptual ones (ideas, verbal exchange).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 13th, 2019, 12:12 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:? where did you find that story - found "The Way of the Assassin"
https://fritzfreiheit.com/wiki/Harlan_Ellison


Not sure what you're getting at, Jon -- the links are in the post.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 13th, 2019, 12:28 am

Brad Henderson wrote:Bob. No one would ever say they palmed off the prediction into someone’s pocket. And even if they did - that isn’t congruent with the Act of misrepresentation at the heart of the phrases idiomatic use.
Is this the hill on which you’ve chosen to die?

Well, one of the examples I found used it in exactly that manner:

10) Redal-Stan chuckled. "You saw her PALM IT OFF INTO MY CUP, too, eh?"

It's a mistaken assumption that the idiomatic use must be "congruent". For example, and speaking of hills to die on: You can "PUT DOWN the glass onto the table" (literal) Or you can "PUT DOWN the sick animal" (figurative). Are you doubting that the figurative is conceptually connected to the literal? And yet it has much different meaning gap compared to the literal vs figurative for "palm off" both of which inherently involve deception. That's the nice thing about metaphors and language in general...we don't need absolute congruence, since our minds are good at flexing a bit to interpret them while simultaneously widening the scope of the underlying words.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 13th, 2019, 8:51 am

To impose upon -
https://books.google.com/books?id=8vRaA ... 70&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=hsu47 ... in&f=false

Any thoughts on the term "skin"? (same page - same discussion about removing extra cards from ones hand)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » March 13th, 2019, 9:24 am

Bob. You are drawing connections for which there is no evidence. And palming off into a cup is not the same as palming off a painting as original.

In the first case there is a correlation, in the second there isn’t.

Words have lots of meanings. If you want to prove that these words in this order are related to gambling you have to make that connection. Otherwise putting a tiger in your tank is a reference to Faro - and it isn’t.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 13th, 2019, 10:57 am

Brad Henderson wrote:Bob. You are drawing connections for which there is no evidence. And palming off into a cup is not the same as palming off a painting as original.

In the first case there is a correlation, in the second there isn’t.

Words have lots of meanings. If you want to prove that these words in this order are related to gambling you have to make that connection. Otherwise putting a tiger in your tank is a reference to Faro - and it isn’t.

The metaphorical extension between the literal and metaphorical for "palm off" is clear and very easy to make (assuming you know what palming is), and that's why the various explications and examples I've found have mentioned sleight of hand. So that is evidence. Maybe you don't perceive it that way, but others do. Plus it's mistake to think metaphors must be "congruent" to the literal meaning.

And again, I'm not claiming Sanders use of the idiom proves he had sleight of hand in mind, just that it increases the odds that he had some level of familiarity with it. Yes, the idiom "tiger in the tank" doesn't have any faro connotations (even assuming one knows of the tiger/faro connection). But in many cases, the use of an idiom does show familiarity with the literal meaning. E.g. if someone uses the metaphor "dealing from the bottom of the deck" they probably have some knowledge about poker etc. So there's a spectrum of how strongly the literal sense is evoked from the metaphor. There are various experiments on such things where the subjects are "primed" with the literal meaning as stimulus to see if they more readily recognize the metaphor.

As for "palm off", I tend to think it's relevant since the literal meaning references a specific sleight ("palming" like "bottom dealing"). But I have no evidence for that; that's just a judgement call. I'm only saying a) the literal connection to the metaphorical use seems pretty clear, and the evidence while not perfect supports it b) given that literal meaning, it's worth considering how relevant the use of the metaphor is. Your mileage may differ, of course. [metaphor alert]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 13th, 2019, 12:47 pm

Literal is not the same as actual. Sentient is not the same as sapient. Subtle is not the same as blatant. But eventually burning wax candles will wane. Sometimes there's just not enough violins on TV. :)
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 16th, 2019, 12:24 am

Bill Mullins wrote: If "palming" in the phrase "palming off" has the same meaning as "palm" in the-sleight-of hand sense, that would substantiate your argument. But the evidence doesn't support that.
- The common usage in the 1895 newspapers don't show any significant usage of "palming off" with a sense of sleight-of-hand. The examples don't even show that things being "palmed off" were ever in one's hands.
[...]
If you could show significant usage in the late 1800s where people said or wrote "palm/palmed off" and clearly meant it to mean "I concealed something in my palm and got rid of it," then the argument that Sanders was referring to sleight of hand would become stronger. But I don't think that such usage exists.

Bill, I found a bunch of quotes from that period where "palming off" seems to me to be clearly linked to sleight of hand. In some it's used literally to refer to sleight of hand, and in others it's used figuratively but alludes in the same text to its magic or gambling origins.

  • "Now take care not to let your coin slip. Clench it. Presto ---!" and Herrmann made several theatrical waves and passes with his arms. "How open your hand." The man did so, and there lay a bright, new one-dollar gold piece. "Well, you did it after all," said the conceited one cunningly, a little crestfallen, "and as slick as I could have done it myself," and he turned to go away. "Good-bye," said Herrmann, "you may leave me my gold dollar, though before you go." "What do you mean?" said the man, with a twinkle in his eye. "why, the gold dollar I PALMED OFF ON YOU. Here's your five cent piece." "Nonsense," said the man: "you changed my five cent piece into a gold coin without its leaving my hand. I'll leave it to the crowd if you didn't." [daily independent. june 3, 1890]
  • a villain named George Mcgill was arraigned for peddling "snide" finger rings and roping in the unsophisticated by means of a JUGGLING TRICK of the "NOW YOU SEE IT, AND HOW YOU DON'T SEE IT" order. The officer stated that he PALMED OFF the spurious rings for gold and several boxes of the Pecknsniff finger bands were put on exhibition, together with a box by means of which he worked the SLEIGHT-OF-HAND trick. [daily globe st. paul minn. sept 10 1881]
  • with a sixth member of the gang who through SLEIGHT-OF-HAND work buncoed them out of a large part of their share and PALMED OFF several $50 bills as $500 ones. [evening statesman, walla wall, wash. april 1 1909]
  • There is as much pleasure for the spectator in Herrmann's manner of doing a thing as in the thing he does. His skill is amazing. He manipulates live rabbits and ducks and other unwieldy material with as much easy grace as he PALMS OFF the coin of the republic or makes vanish an egg. [los angeles daily herald. oct 7 1889]
  • and especially against any financial LEGERDEMAIN which proposes to make people rich by PALMING OFF cheap money upon them. [the diamond drill. sept 19 1896]
  • a spiritual JUGGLER who PALMS OFF shams as realities. [wilmington daily gazette march 13 1874]
  • It is a kind of THREE CARD MONTE or THIMBLERIG game. NOW YOU SEE IT AND NOW YOU DON'T SEE IT, and it is altogether the biggest political fraud all round ever PALMED OFF on a credulous people. But they are tiring of it and the old political GAMBLERS are growing desperate in consequence.
  • they will hardly again try the TRICK of PALMING OFF a secession platform, shifted with the ADROITNESS of a THIMBLE RIGGER, for the one adopted in public meeting. [burlington weekly hawkeye, iowa. july 5 1862]
  • he showed them good money, got a certain sum from them for a much larger number of counterfeit dollars, and then through SLEIGHT OF HAND PALMED OFF sawdust or paper upon them. [new york sun. march 2 1886]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 16th, 2019, 1:33 am

Bob -- Where I said "significant," I should have said "dominant". My bad. But I'm not sure that 9 examples over a 47 year stretch rises to the level of "significant".

I searched for "palm off/palming off" without "sleight of hand", and the vast majority of what I found didn't include sleight of hand in any way. If you searched for "palm off/palming off"+ "sleight of hand" and found some matches, I'm not surprised. Both phrases are common enough that one would expect to find some colocations. But the important measure is the relative frequency of colocations, not whether or not they exist at all.

My quick-and-dirty search described above leads me to believe that when the phrase "palm off/palmed off/palming off" was used in general English in 1895, the user almost invariably had no intention of connoting sleight of hand. The existence of occasions when sleight of hand was indirectly or even overtly implied does not disprove this. You found nine examples in the years between 1862 and 1909 where "palm/palmed/palming off" was used in conjunction with sleight of hand or something related. I found in Jan of 1895 forty examples where it wasn't, and no examples where it was, and stopped looking.

To get back to the issue, you said in reference to Sanders "Here he alludes to a particular sleight of hand manoevre (while describing fallacious accounts of Montana's history): "the literary huckster ... has PALMED OFF upon us our own alleged history." "
I think it is clear that he was not alluding to a "particular sleight of hand manoevre", but he was using the vastly more common figurative meaning of the phrase, as most people of the era did.

Later you backtrack a little and say "the choice of the term is an indication of some level of familiarity with cheating and sleight of hand, even if used metaphorically." This is where I can't follow, and where I don't think the evidence leads. Far too many people were using the phrase at the time for it to indicate any deep familiarity. It was used broadly by the general public -- are we to assume that the general public was familiar with sleight of hand? If that's so, then its usage can't mean that that any random speaker or writer who used the phrase was so familiar as to lead one to believe he had the skills of Erdnase, because that skill set was unique (or practically so).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 16th, 2019, 1:56 am

Brad Henderson wrote:Do other magic/gambling books of or before that era refer to the SLEIGHT as palming ‘off’ or just palming?


Prof Hoffmann, More Magic p. 23 "If proficient in sleight of hand you might again pick up the cards with the indicated heap undermost, thereby making the chosen card the top card ; palm off that card, and finish the trick at your pleasure."
p. 54 "You make the " Charlier " pass (see p. 9), thereby bringing the card to the top, bring the right hand over it, and palm off the chosen card, instantly offering the pack with the right hand, that it may be shuffled."
Wm. E. Robinson, Mahatma, Mar 1895, p. 7 "Palm off the mica and return handkerchief. "
H. J. Burlingame, Herrmann the Magician: His Life; His Secrets 1897, p 197. "Palm off the watch and hand the bag to him to tie up."
Roterberg, New Era Card Tricks, 1897, p. 95 ". . . the conjurer takes advantage of this opportunity to palm off the top card of pack . . ."
T. Nelson Downs, Modern Coin Manipulation 1900 p. 211 "Palm off the fake and give the book for examination."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 16th, 2019, 2:28 am

Ok, fair enough. I should have said originally "he possibly alludes" since there's really no way to know if the literal connotation was an influence in his choice of that idiom or not. Though as I've tried to say all along, I think the main weakness in this example is not the link of the phrase to sleight of hand (which seems pretty solid to me) but whether or not the use of the idiom in a figurative way evokes the literal meaning enough to be significant. I do find Sanders' choice of phrase interesting, though not necessarily hugely significant in the grand scheme of things for the reasons given. Anyway, I will change my Sanders document to cast it more clearly in that light.

Regarding the "colocation argument"... Obviously, the idiom took on a life of its own that dominates the literal meaning, in which case there's no reason for the literal meaning to be mentioned. The instances I gave, where it is mentioned, are more than mere random colocations, though. They're cases where it seems pretty clear to me that the writer is deliberately either making a connection between the idiom and its source or is using the phrase literally. I found a lot more that i would classify as mere collocations, without any real significance, and ignored those. And there were some where it was hard to discern the writer's intention, so I ignored those too. So, unless I'm misreading them, the fact that the writers are deliberately linking "palming off" to sleight of hand in these examples indicates that *they* think there's a connection. Whether Sanders or any of the other people using it figuratively had that in mind is, of course, a very different question.

btw I found another definition (probably partly derived from earlier definitions....)

How it started by jean newton
"to palm off"
We are all familiar with this bit of slang which is frequenty used in everyday speech to signify deception, whether it is inferior material that is being "palmed off" or a false excuse. The phrase comes to us from the parlance of the showman, the referece being originally to the juggler or "magician" who causes an article to disappear and then suddenly produces it in the palm of his hand. The "magician's" trade is an old one, and "palming off" is no upstart in the history of language. As far back as the early seventeenth century Dryden said: "you may palm upon us new for old." [evening star. washington dc. nov 27 1924]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 16th, 2019, 1:12 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Bob --to get back to the issue, you said in reference to Sanders "Here he alludes to a particular sleight of hand manoevre (while describing fallacious accounts of Montana's history): "the literary huckster ... has PALMED OFF upon us our own alleged history." "
I think it is clear that he was not alluding to a "particular sleight of hand manoevre", but he was using the vastly more common figurative meaning of the phrase, as most people of the era did.


You think it is clear that Sanders was not alluding to a particular sleight of hand maneuver? That would imply Sanders was a layman who was not familiar with magic and sleight of hand. The evidence in his notebook indicates he was familiar with card magic--if only on an elementary level. In the world of card magic, Sanders had his feet wet. So if he writes the phrase PALMED OFF that would make an Erdnase scholar sit up and take notice.[/quote]


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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 17th, 2019, 1:09 am

Bob Coyne wrote: So, unless I'm misreading them, the fact that the writers are deliberately linking "palming off" to sleight of hand in these examples indicates that *they* think there's a connection. Whether Sanders or any of the other people using it figuratively had that in mind is, of course, a very different question.


That sounds completely reasonable.

Leonard Hevia wrote:You think it is clear that Sanders was not alluding to a particular sleight of hand maneuver? That would imply Sanders was a layman who was not familiar with magic and sleight of hand.
No, I don't think so. An idiom can have a figurative meaning, and have its origins in a a literal concept, and a person can be generally aware of the literal concept -- but all that taken together doesn't necessarily imply that anyone who uses it in the figurative sense is specifically invoking the literal version. George H. W. Bush famously said "Read my lips" -- surely no one seriously thinks that his use of the phrase should be interpreted to mean that he was able to tell what someone was saying when he couldn't actually hear their speech.

In the same introduction as is under discussion, the author (and remember, we are assuming it is Sanders, but don't really know so) says:
"The citizens . . . did not know how great a drama they were enacting; on how large a theatre they moved, nor how vast an audience would be spectators of their every action. . . " Any argument that Sanders had a background in sleight of hand because he wrote "palmed off" should also assert that he had a theatrical background because of the above.

The evidence in his notebook indicates he was familiar with card magic -- if only on an elementary level. In the world of card magic, Sanders had his feet wet. So if he writes the phrase PALMED OFF that would make an Erdnase scholar sit up and take notice.

If you are referring to "Mutus Nomen," that is a non-sleight of hand trick. So I can't see that his knowledge of it enhances the proposition that his saying "palmed off" in a figurative sense means that he had specific knowledge related to its literal meaning.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 17th, 2019, 10:59 am

Bill Mullins wrote:we are assuming it is Sanders, but don't really know so)


Wait a minute, wasn't that PALMED OFF quote directly from Sanders material that Bob recently stumbled on? I thought it was.

Bill Mullins wrote:If you are referring to "Mutus Nomen," that is a non-sleight of hand trick. So I can't see that his knowledge of it enhances the proposition that his saying "palmed off" in a figurative sense means that he had specific knowledge related to its literal meaning.


I can see it. Sanders was an intelligent and very literate man, as you once pointed out here. If he thought well enough to record a self working card trick into his notebook, the chances are good that he may have read more material on card magic. Anyone who begins reading card magic literature will quickly see terms like "palming" and "sleight of hand."

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » March 17th, 2019, 11:35 am

This assumes that the trick was conveyed to him via print and not as part of an oral tradition. I have encounter many people who know a version of the mutus nomen trick who have never seen a magic book in their lives. Card tricks are like jokes - they get passed around from person to person. Knowing a card trick is not evidence of having studied magic. It’s merely proof that one knows a card trick.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 17th, 2019, 12:10 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:This assumes that the trick was conveyed to him via print and not as part of an oral tradition. I have encounter many people who know a version of the mutus nomen trick who have never seen a magic book in their lives. Card tricks are like jokes - they get passed around from person to person. Knowing a card trick is not evidence of having studied magic. It’s merely proof that one knows a card trick.


Without equivocation, but Sanders was an intelligent and curious man. Sometimes getting into trouble. Assuming that he may have read more card magic is not far fetched. Especially in light of the fact that he purchased six decks of cards before going on a camping trip. Faro shuffling in front of the crackling fire while the crickets chirped into the night?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » March 17th, 2019, 2:30 pm

So all curious people are curious about card tricks? Enough to study them?

The key word is assumption. And we haven’t defined far fetched. Is it possible? Yes? Is it likely?

I see no evidence for that.

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ERDNASE

Postby Ron Giesecke » March 17th, 2019, 2:41 pm

Not sure if anyone in this forum listens to the Dan Cummins “Timesuck” podcast. But I submitted this overall subject as a suggestion for one of his involved expeditions. He put it up for a vote in the forum. It’d be interesting to hear it aired in such a way.


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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 17th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote: Wait a minute, wasn't that PALMED OFF quote directly from Sanders material that Bob recently stumbled on? I thought it was.

Yes, the "palmed off" quote is from that text. As I briefly mentioned in my initial post, the new Sanders' texts I found were in Vol 2 of Contributions to Historical Society of Montana. These consist of some extended footnotes in his name and most likely the unattributed Introduction to the volume. Sanders took over the compiling, editing, and publishing for the Volume after the initial person became ill. He continued as Librarian to the Historical Society and later wrote about the work he put into finishing and publishing it. It's clear that he worked extensively on it and was responsible for the final product. In addition, the writing style/content closely match other text written by Sanders for the Society and elsewhere. So on that basis, I think it is very likely (though not provable) that he wrote the Introduction.

Some of the correspondences with his other known text are listed here:
http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coyne/erdna ... vol2-intro

I'd also note that it's not the "palmed off" phrase that I find to be the strongest connection to Erdnase in these new texts. It's the whole extended passage it comes from, which is a remarkably close parallel to Erdnase's mocking of "self-styled 'professionals'" hoodwinking the public with their "moss-covered ruses." Sanders, instead, targets "self-constituted 'historians'" hoodwinking the public with their "second-hand wares." In addition to the sarcastic tone and structural/thematic/semantic similarities, the topic phrases use the identical hyphenation and word choice, leading with "SELF-" (self-constituted vs self-styled). And they both put scare quotes around the head word (historians/professionals). The parallels are mapped out a bit more here:

http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coyne/erdna ... historians

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » March 17th, 2019, 9:50 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:And we haven’t defined far fetched.


Far-fetched: unlikely and unconvincing; implausible.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 17th, 2019, 9:58 pm

How uncommon were those phrase/patterns at the time? Here's a finding for Twain on "moss-covered":
https://books.google.com/books?id=0kJIH ... xt&f=false
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » March 17th, 2019, 11:57 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:How uncommon were those phrase/patterns at the time? Here's a finding for Twain on "moss-covered":

I'm not sure I understand the relevance of the frequency of "moss-covered". That's only used by Erdnase, not Sanders, and not related to my comparison except for it's *meaning*, where Erdnase's "moss-covered ruses" corresponds with Sanders' "second-hand wares". And the overlapping meanings are reinforced by the larger context of the overall passage.

It's also worth noting that Erdnase's mocking of "ex-professionals" who "exhume" those moss-covered ruses is mirrored again (!) in a *different* passage from Sanders where he mocks "professionals" whose bogus works have been "exhumed." And in those passages, very similar alliteration is used ("wiles and wickedness" vs "wicked waste").
http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~coyne/erdna ... tml#exhume

When such similar metaphors, attitude, themes, argument structure, lexical elements, and style are found in extended passages like this, I think there are greatly increased odds that we're dealing with the same author. That kind of alignment indicates a common mindset, set of concerns, and manner of expression.

But to answer your question, one good tool for finding out how common words or phrases over time is the Google NGram viewer. (https://books.google.com/ngrams)
"Moss-covered" is used about the same amount as "self-constituted" and "self-styled" (also in those passages). Those all have about the same frequency as "dalliance" (relatively uncommon word used by erdnase and sanders elsewhere). A word used three times more frequently (but still uncommon) is "subterfuge". A more common word like "reservoir" is used 10 times more often than "subterfuge." It's interesting/instructive to compare words and see the graphs it produces. You can see how some words/phrases become more or less frequent over time.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » March 18th, 2019, 2:32 am

Bob Coyne wrote:I'd also note that it's not the "palmed off" phrase that I find to be the strongest connection to Erdnase in these new texts. It's the whole extended passage it comes from, which is a remarkably close parallel to Erdnase's . . .


Which is why I've been so critical of the "palmed-off" phrase -- the assertion that its use shows some greater than average familiarity in sleight of hand by the author damages the rest of your argument.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » March 18th, 2019, 2:40 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:And we haven’t defined far fetched.


Far-fetched: unlikely and unconvincing; implausible.


Implausible, no.

Unlikely, yes.

Unconvincing, definitely

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ray J » March 18th, 2019, 8:38 am

far-fetched
/ˌfärˈfeCHt/Submit
adjective
unlikely and unconvincing; implausible.
"the theory sounded bizarre and far-fetched"
synonyms: improbable, unlikely, implausible, scarcely credible, difficult to believe, dubious, doubtful, unconvincing, incredible, unbelievable, unthinkable, beyond the bounds of possibility;

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Joe Mckay » March 29th, 2019, 5:10 pm

I am listening to Scott Wells' interview with Guy Hollingworth.

https://www.themagicwordpodcast.com/scottwellsmagic/479-guy-hollingworth

Guy has an interesting (and wild) idea about the possible candidate for Erdnase.

He speculates that there may have been two authors. One for the gambling section and one for the conjuring section.

He notes as well that the first-person plural is used throughout the book but he is well aware that this was common parlance back then.

Running with the idea he proposes this. Take the name SW ERDNASE and just focus on the ERDNASE part of the name.

When this is reversed you get ESANDRE.

Another way of looking at that is ES AND RE. So perhaps the book is a collaboration between two authors?

He wonders if ES is Edwin Sachs? And if RE is the initials of a gambler?

Again - he admits this is a throwaway piece of speculation. But it is an interesting theory nevertheless.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 29th, 2019, 5:36 pm

How does the sleight of hand in Sachs's book compare with what's described in erdnase?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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