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Mortal Man

Scribes and Scrolls

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Chris writes:

My guess would be concurrently and yes, but of course it's difficult to say anything definitive about its production without the original.
I realize that my question was ambiguous. Nevertheless, the second part does partially answer what I wanted. So let me clarify.

My question was really not about the specific make up of the specimen. That is, we have two independent accounts of the revelation which do not have the characters attached, and then we have the specimen. My question was whether or not the text pre-existed the characters in its earliest form and the characters were added later, or if you assume that the earliest version of the revelation also included the characters (the question was not about how the specimen itself was produced). I am not sure how you read it (given the comments that followed), so if you could clarify this for me I would appreciate it.

You suggest that the characters were considered revelation - how do you think it was understood when one revelation provided one set of meanings and yet the characters are reused later? Was the second use (in the KEP) in your opinion also presented as revelation?

Finally, you noted elsewhere that based on some of the comments with regard to the specimen, you assume that there was more of the Pure Language than what is provided on the specimen. But, given the fact that what is on the specimen seems to come entirely from the earlier revelation, what else do you think was included in this pure language as it was formulated by the time Phelps wrote his letter?

Ben M.

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My question was really not about the specific make up of the specimen. That is, we have two independent accounts of the revelation which do not have the characters attached, and then we have the specimen. My question was whether or not the text pre-existed the characters in its earliest form and the characters were added later, or if you assume that the earliest version of the revelation also included the characters (the question was not about how the specimen itself was produced). I am not sure how you read it (given the comments that followed), so if you could clarify this for me I would appreciate it.

The original rescension of the revelation is extant in the Manuscript Revelation Book. It is called the "sample of pure language," and it does not contain the characters or the entry for "earth". In my opinion, the specimen was an inspired reworking of this earlier material.

You suggest that the characters were considered revelation - how do you think it was understood when one revelation provided one set of meanings and yet the characters are reused later? Was the second use (in the KEP) in your opinion also presented as revelation?

One set of meanings was for the pure language, while the other was for the post-Babel (i.e., "confused") Egyptian language.

Finally, you noted elsewhere that based on some of the comments with regard to the specimen, you assume that there was more of the Pure Language than what is provided on the specimen.

I'm not sure which of my comments you're referring to, but I think you misunderstand me. I rather doubt that the original of the specimen contained more material than the extant copy, though I suppose it's not impossible.

Peace,

-Chris

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To summarize the data in Brent's table:

The left column is the first instance of Williams' dittograph; i.e., manuscript 1a, page 4, instance a.

The middle column is the second instance of Williams dittograph; i.e., manuscript 1a, page 4, instance b.

The right column is the corresponding text in Parrish's second manuscript; i.e., manuscript 2, page 7.

dittograph.jpg

The first thing to notice is the relative abundance of emendations in the left and middle columns (curly brackets) compared to the right column. Also notice the sloppy punctuation and capitalizations of the left and middle vs. right column. Although Williams is generally sloppier than Parrish, this nevertheless suggests that the left and middle instances were dictated, whereas the right instance was copied.

Now observe that there is a lot more green than blue in the table. Green means that Parrish's text agrees with the first instance of Williams' dittograph, whereas blue means that it agrees with the second instance. Note that the blue elements in the right column involve corrections to Williams' punctuation and capitalization. These data strongly indicate that Parrish copied the first instance of Williams' dittograph and not the second.

Now look at the red marks in the table. Red means that the text disagrees with both of the other instances. Most of the red in the left column involves sloppy punctuation, which is not likely to be repeated via copy or dictation. Most of the red in the right column involves corrections to punctuation and capitalization. These observations add weight to the notion that the right column was copied from the left column.

Red is most highly concentrated in the middle column and most of the red in this column involves things that are missing compared to the other two texts. This again suggests, among other things, that the middle column was dictated, rather than copied.

So which of the other two instances was the middle column dictated from? Or could it have been copied or dictated from a missing source?

To begin to answer these questions, look at the yellow marks in the table. Yellow ostensibly indicates Williams' consistency, from one iteration to the next, relative to Parrish's version. However, the key thing to notice here is that, in every single instance, yellow appears where Parrish corrected Williams' grammar; i.e., where Parrish deliberately altered (inserting commas etc.) Williams' punctuation and capitalizations. Since punctuation and capitalization (and corrections thereto) are not amenable to oral transmission, the yellow marks actually indicate visual dependence of the third column on the first column. Yellow does not constitute evidence that the first two columns were copied from a missing manuscript.

Williams' inconsistency, relative to Parrish's text, is quantified (in a sense) by the sum of red, blue and green in the first two columns; e.g., if Williams' first and second instances were Xerox copies of the same parent text, then none of these colors would appear. There is far too much red, blue and green in the first two columns for them to be visual copies of the same parent text.

Therefore, the default scenario is that the middle column was dictated from the right column. It is admittedly difficult to establish this dependence directly from the table data; nevertheless: (i) there is nothing in the chart inconsistent with this conclusion, (ii) "sarah" and "thee" might suggest a new dictator who pronounced things differently, and (iii) the abbreviations/omissions, increased slant of writing and relative lack of punctuation indicate faster dictation for the middle column than for the left column; i.e., reading (fast) vs. revelation (slow).

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The first thing to notice is the relative abundance of emendations in the left and middle columns (curly brackets) compared to the right column. Also notice the sloppy punctuation and capitalizations of the left and middle vs. right column. Although Williams is generally sloppier than Parrish, this nevertheless suggests that the left and middle instances were dictated, whereas the right instance was copied.

This only holds if we presume that Williams and Parrish had identical capacities and methods, which they did not. The more likely conclusion to draw from the disparity is that Williams and Parrish had distinct capacities and methods. Since we already know they did, that conclusion is quite easy to make.

Now observe that there is a lot more green than blue in the table. Green means that Parrish's text agrees with the first instance of Williams' dittograph, whereas blue means that it agrees with the second instance. Note that the blue elements in the right column involve corrections to Williams' punctuation and capitalization. These data strongly indicate that Parrish copied the first instance of Williams' dittograph and not the second.

An assertion I am in perfect agreement with.

Now look at the red marks in the table. Red means that the text disagrees with both of the other instances. Most of the red in the left column involves sloppy punctuation, which is not likely to be repeated via copy or dictation. Most of the red in the right column involves corrections to punctuation and capitalization. These observations add weight to the notion that the right column was copied from the left column.

Red is most highly concentrated in the middle column and most of the red in this column involves things that are missing compared to the other two texts. This again suggests that the middle column was dictated, rather than copied.

Actually, all it shows is that something in Williams' method changed. He hurried, or went from dictation to transcription, or the other way around, or something like that. Given you insist the first iteration was also dictated, the disparity of the second iteration from the first does not really constitute evidence of dictation. Lastly, you can't provide a rational reason for the dictated dittograph. Dictation becomes the least likely of the modes of copy for the dittograph.

So which of the other two instances was the middle column dictated from? Or could it have been dictated from a missing source?

If we concluded it was dictated, which I've already explained is not supported by the evidence, it would have come from the same parent text as Williams' first iteration.

To begin to answer these questions, look at the yellow marks in the table. Yellow indicates Williams' consistency, from one iteration to the next, compared to Parrish's version. If both instances of Williams' dittograph derived from the same parent text, or if the second instance derived from the first instance, then we would expect a lot of yellow in the first two columns.

This is specious. The yellow would only appear where it was distinct from Parrish's copy. As long as Parrish was also consistent, the consistency of Williams' dittograph is not highlighted. You cannot make a determination on the relationship of the second iteration to the first when a copy from an entirely different scribe determines how much yellow is there.

Williams' inconsistency is indicated by the sum of red, blue and green in the first two columns. There is far more red, blue and green in the first two columns than there is yellow, which suggests that the two instances of the dittograph derive from different sources and that the second instance does not derive from the first instance.

The red points to unique aspects of the dittograph in relationship to the other two, collectively, so it does not bear in any way, shape, or form on the dependence of the dittograph on one text or the other. The poorest represented color is blue, which would be where the dittograph agrees with Parrish against the first iteration. Since it only deals with punctuation and capitalization, and since both are rather inconsistently applied in Williams' manuscript, the overlap is unlikely to be significant. The fact that yellow is better represented than blue shows the dittograph is more closely related to the first iteration than to Parrish. That the yellow is also simply punctuation and capitalization shows that an appeal to punctuation and capitalization is more supportive of the dittograph's relationship to the first iteration and not to Parrish's version. That the green constitutes far more than just punctuation and capitalization shows the relationship of Parrish's text to the first iteration is linear. No such relationship between the dittograph and Parrish's text is manifested in this chart, entirely undermining your argument. You don't seem to know what you're talking about at all.

We are thus left with only one possibility; i.e., that the middle column was dictated from the right column. It is admittedly difficult to establish this dependence directly from the table data; nevertheless: (i) there is nothing in the data inconsistent with this conclusion (pending the "home" vs. "house" issue),

As I've shown above, there's plenty in the chart that undermines your conclusion.

(ii) "sarah" and "thee" both suggest a new dictator who pronounced things differently,

The Sarah/Sarai difference is not the result of different pronunciation. It's the result of misreading, which can take place with transcription or dictation. Williams' first iteration actually uses both spellings ("thee" and "the") for the word "thee." Are you insisting that dictators changed in the middle of that copy as well?

and (iii) the abbreviations/omissions, increased slant of writing and relative lack of punctuation suggest faster dictation (reading) for the middle column than for the left column.

Or faster transcription.

You've shown me here that you have absolutely no idea how to analyze this data.

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Lastly, you can't provide a rational reason for the dictated dittograph.

Parrish's second manuscript was likely intended for the printer. In order to ensure that their backup copy was fully up to date, someone dictated the difference between Parrish's first and second manuscripts to Williams.

This is specious. The yellow would only appear where it was distinct from Parrish's copy.

That's why I said, "compared to Parrish's version". I've clarified this point to make it more difficult for you to misread.

The poorest represented color is blue, which would be where the dittograph agrees with Parrish against the first iteration. Since it only deals with punctuation and capitalization, and since both are rather inconsistently applied in Williams' manuscript, the overlap is unlikely to be significant.

Not once you notice that Parrish is correcting Williams' punctuation and capitalization.

You don't seem to know what you're talking about at all.

...

You've shown me here that you have absolutely no idea how to analyze this data.

The steady stream of insults is unnecessary.

--------------------------------------

The chart strongly suggests that:

1. The first two columns are not visual copies of the same parent text.

2. The third column was visually copied from the first column.

The chart supports the notion that:

1. The first two columns were dictated.

2. The second column was produced at a faster rate than the first column.

The chart is basically neutral on whether the second column was dictated from the third column. This inference rests primarily (but not solely) on the observation that Williams' repeated text begins precisely where Parrish's first manuscript ends.

As an optional bonus, it may be noted that the above scenario fits perfectly with the "Haran" homoioteleuton. A cross-manuscript inter-scribe oral homoioteleuton can explain a 108 word dittograph, whereas an eye skip by a professional scribe cannot.

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Parrish's second manuscript was likely intended for the printer. In order to ensure that their backup copy was fully up to date, someone dictated the difference between Parrish's first and second manuscripts to Williams.

You're using misleading nomenclature. If they dictated "the difference between" the two manuscripts they would be dictating only those words which differed. What you appear to mean is that they dictated Parrish's second version. As I've shown, thanks to your handy chart, that is not only unsupported by the data, but is actually significantly undermined. You have yet to respond directly to that fact, and I have no doubt you have no intention of doing so any time soon. The above represents nothing more than a reassertion of your original thesis.

That's why I said, "compared to Parrish's version". I've clarified this point to make it more difficult for you to misread.

You are the one who doesn't understand. The yellow only indicates consistency in Williams' two iterations insofar as they differ from Parrish's. Comparing their consistency to each other with Parrish as a filter does not lend support, in and of itself, to any close genetic relationship. You want the yellow to indicate that Williams' two iterations are not very consistent, meaning they derive from different Vorlagen, but you're ignoring the fact that Parrish's copy obscures any consistencies that also happen to be preserved therein. If you colored the consistencies according to their direct relationships, irrespective of relationship to any other version, Williams' dittograph is most closely related to his first iteration and not to Parrish's version. As I pointed out, there are fewer unique relationships shared by Williams' dittograph and Parrish's version than by Williams' dittograph and Williams' first iteration. The blue would have to outnumber the yellow for your notion to be taken at all seriously, but even then the interference of the third version mitigates any such conclusions. You simply do not know how to analyze this data.

Not once you notice that Parrish is correcting Williams' punctuation and capitalization.

Utterly irrelevant.

The steady stream of insults is unnecessary.

The stream of incoherent argumentation is a far more egregious breach of decorum.

The chart strongly suggests that:

1. The first two columns are not visual copies of the same parent text.

The chart suggests absolutely no such thing, neither implicitly, nor "strongly." You cannot even begin to support that assertion, especially if your misunderstandings above are the limits of your analytical capacities.

2. The third column was visually copied from the first column.

A conclusion with which, for the third time, I have never disagreed.

The chart supports the notion that:

1. The first two columns were dictated.

You've not provided a single word of evidence to support this.

2. The second column was produced at a faster rate than the first column.

Another notion I completely agree with.

The chart is basically neutral on whether the second column was dictated from the third column.

Actually it isn't. The chart clearly shows the dittograph is more closely related to Williams' first iteration than to Parrish.

This inference rests primarily (but not solely) on the observation that Williams' repeated text begins precisely where Parrish's first manuscript ends.

And the scenario that you've manufactured to buttress this false inference has been shown to be completely irrational.

As an optional bonus, it may be noted that the above scenario fits perfectly with the "Haran" homoioteleuton. A cross-manuscript inter-scribe oral homoioteleuton can explain a 108 word dittograph, whereas an eye skip by a professional scribe cannot.

Since a much larger dittograph has already been produced, the length of Williams' example is moot. An "eye skip by a professional scribe" is perfectly reasonable. Your scenario rests upon assumption after assumption, and you've been entirely unable to respond to any of my concerns with it.

I am growing quite tired of having to repeatedly correct your errors and request you respond to concerns, only to have my requests ignored. I've given you plenty of opportunities to respond after quite direct requests. This forum is designed for more respectful and adult debate, but you've shown yourself completely unwilling and unable to engage in either. My curtness has not only been catalyzed by the most juvenile of argumentation on your part, but has paled in comparison to your pseudo-scholarship and dishonesty.

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Not once you notice that Parrish is correcting Williams' punctuation and capitalization.

Utterly irrelevant.

Ah

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Mortal Man:

Stop the insults and answer the question, please.

Skylla

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Mortal Man has revised this post and has invited others to provide a critique:

If anyone can find anything that doesn't fit the evidence, or can offer a more plausible scenario, I'd appreciate your feedback.

I'm responding to what seems to me to be the bulk of the revision.

The first thing to notice is the relative abundance of emendations in the left and middle columns (curly brackets) compared to the right column.

There are no emendations in the left column compared to the other two, which are subsequent to it. Now, what do you imagine this "abundance of emendations" indicates?

Also notice the sloppy punctuation and capitalizations of the left and middle vs. right column. Although Williams is generally sloppier than Parrish, this nevertheless suggests that the left and middle instances were dictated, whereas the right instance was copied.

I've addressed this. It indicates absolutely no such thing. You've not responded to the fact that this conclusion demands a leveling of Parrish and Williams' scribal habits, methods, and capacities. You've also provided no support for your completely a priori notion that sporadic and/or poor punctuation and capitalization indicates dictation, and the likelihood of little to no punctuation or capitalization in the Vorlage is already suggested in my theory.

Now observe that there is a lot more green than blue in the table. Green means that Parrish's text agrees with the first instance of Williams' dittograph, whereas blue means that it agrees with the second instance. Note that the blue elements in the right column involve corrections to Williams' punctuation and capitalization.

These data strongly indicate that Parrish copied the first instance of Williams' dittograph and not the second.

A point that, for the fourth time, no one disagrees with.

Now look at the red marks in the table. Red means that the text disagrees with both of the other instances. Most of the red in the left column involves sloppy punctuation, which is not likely to be repeated via copy or dictation. Most of the red in the right column involves corrections to punctuation and capitalization. These observations add weight to the notion that the right column was copied from the left column.

See above.

Red is most highly concentrated in the middle column and most of the red in this column involves things that are missing compared to the other two texts. This again suggests, among other things, that the middle column was dictated, rather than copied.

It suggests absolutely no such thing. Here's why: if you suggest the disparity between the dittograph and the first iteration indicates dictation, then you posit transcription as the means of executing the first iteration. Pointing to a disparity between the two is not evidence that the exact same method of copy produced both versions. If you suggest the disparity between the dittograph and Parrish's version indicates dictation then you demand we treat Parrish and Williams as having identical scribal methods, habits, and capacities. I've already addressed this on multiple occasions and you've ignored them all. You cannot say that Parrish's transcription is different from another scribe's textual production, therefore the second scribe's production was not transcribed. That's ridiculous.

So which of the other two instances was the middle column dictated from? Or could it have been copied or dictated from a missing source?

To begin to answer these questions, look at the yellow marks in the table. Yellow ostensibly indicates Williams' consistency, from one iteration to the next, relative to Parrish's version. However, the key thing to notice here is that, in every single instance, yellow appears where Parrish corrected Williams' grammar; i.e., where Parrish deliberately altered (inserting commas etc.) Williams' punctuation and capitalizations. Since punctuation and capitalization (and corrections thereto) are not amenable to oral transmission, the yellow marks actually indicate visual dependence of the third column on the first column. Yellow does not constitute evidence that the first two columns were copied from a missing manuscript.

If you appeal to the yellow as evidence of anything, it is more supportive of transcription than of dictation. After all, they reproduce phenomena not amenable to oral transmission. However, given Williams' inconsistency, punctuation and capitalization isn't really good evidence either way.

Williams' inconsistency, relative to Parrish's text, is quantified (in a sense) by the sum of red, blue and green in the first two columns; e.g., if Williams' first and second instances were Xerox copies of the same parent text, then none of these colors would appear. There is far too much red, blue and green in the first two columns for them to be visual copies of the same parent text.

Ludicrous. You don't know what percentage of the text would be colored had Williams actually transcribed the text since you don't have any controls to base the calculation off of. You can't say that it's more or less or the same, much, much less that it's "far too much." If you had multiple copies of Williams transcriptions (and their originals) with the same color coding you could plot the spread of that data and compare it to what we find above, but short of that you're simply making an uneducated guess, and in no corner of this universe does your uneducated guess constitute evidence of any kind.

Therefore, the default scenario is that the middle column was dictated from the right column.

The default scenario? You can't possibly be serious.

It is admittedly difficult to establish this dependence directly from the table data

And yet it's the default? Seriously? Additionally, you believe transcription is so precluded by the table data that a default, with its ludicrous scenario, comes into play? I must have missed that argument.

nevertheless: (i) there is nothing in the chart inconsistent with this conclusion,

I've already explained why that's not true (and you've been unable to respond), but there's also nothing in the chart that is inconsistent with my conclusion.

(ii) "sarah" and "thee" might suggest a new dictator who pronounced things differently,

And you've not acknowledged my concerns with this logic.

and (iii) the abbreviations/omissions, increased slant of writing and relative lack of punctuation indicate faster dictation (reading) for the middle column than for the left column.

Or faster transcription, as I have repeatedly noted, and as you have repeatedly ignored. If I am wrong about this than please cite the instances where I have pointed this fact out and you have directly responded to it. You can't. There are absolutely none. You have demonstrably ignored the vast, vast majority of my concerns.

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Mortal Man:

... (iii) the abbreviations/omissions ...

There are no abbreviations.

There is a single case that has been characterized as an abbreviation, but which is more likely a case of haplography where bro/ther's was split between lines on the Vorlage, and Williams failed to pick up the second half of the word when his eye moved to the next line. The other "omission" (followed [after] me) is also a clear case of haplography. The supralinear insertion of "me" is also consequent to a case of haplography.

As is well understood, haplography is a very common visual copying error. It is therefore no surprise to find these additional visual copying errors within the body of this dittograph--another visual copying error.

You see, literally everything seen in this dittograph can be explained within the scenario of Williams copying from a parent text.

Furthermore, to the extent this particular manuscript was produced later than mid-July 1835, the dependency of the Egyptian Alphabet documents on a pre-existing text of this portion of the BoA indirectly proves that we're dealing with a copy of a parent text. As of today, I am more certain than I have ever been that it can be very convincingly demonstrated that the Egyptian Alphabet and the GAEL are dependent on a pre-existing text of the Book of Abraham.

In any case, there is not a single text-critical element of these documents that is inconsistent with them being visual copies, and yet there are numerous elements that argue against them being the product of dictation.

Oh, did I mention also that I believe I will be able to convincingly demonstrate that the hieratic characters in the left margins of Ab2(Williams) were placed there after the English text in the body of the document was already present? More on that when the necessary testing has been completed ...

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There is a single case that has been characterized as an abbreviation, but which is more likely a case of haplography where bro/ther's was split between lines on the Vorlage, and Williams failed to pick up the second half of the word when his eye moved to the next line.

...

The other "omission" (followed [after] me) is also a clear case of haplography. The supralinear insertion of "me" is also consequent to a case of haplography.

...

As is well understood, haplography is a very common visual copying error. It is therefore no surprise to find these additional visual copying errors within the body of this dittograph--another visual copying error.

Haplography is generally used to refer to writing once what should have been written twice. (Indeed, the prefix haplo- means "single".) This elision is explained as the result of eyeskipping due to homoeoteleuton ("like ending"). In the examples you chalk up to haplography in your post above, however, there is no homoeoteleuton. The elisions therefore are not examples of "haplography".

Even setting aside the question of terminology, I'm not sure that the splitting of a word between two lines constitutes a sufficient text-critical mechanism to explain eye-skipping/elision. And what "visual" mechanism are you proposing to explain your other examples?

In any event, "bro" was an extremely common abbreviation for "brother", and shows up all over the handwritten documents of this period. There's no need for strained text-critical arguments to explain it. The elision of the endings of "kindred" and "followed" are more difficult to explain. These are neither common abbreviations nor obvious cases of haplography. It would seem the scribe was simply in a hurry, and couldn't be bothered to finish his words!

Peace,

-Chris

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Haplography is generally used to refer to writing once what should have been written twice. (Indeed, the prefix haplo- means "single".) This elision is explained as the result of eyeskipping due to homoeoteleuton ("like ending"). In the examples you chalk up to haplography in your post above, however, there is no homoeoteleuton. The elisions therefore are not examples of "haplography".

No, Chris, haplography need not be attended by either homoioteleuton nor homoioarcton, although it often is. Haplography can and does commonly refer to any omission of a letter, letters, or words. If you would like, I could cite from multiple authors of text-criticism works to prove it.

There's no need for strained text-critical arguments to explain it.

There is only one set of "strained text-critical arguments" at work in this discussion, and they do not proceed from either Dan nor me.

The elision of the endings of "kindred" and "followed" are more difficult to explain.

In the first place, since you seem to have adopted your mentor's penchant for niggling over detail, "elision" is, generally speaking, a referent to sounds omitted in speech. In any case, your assertion that the instances of the words "kindred" and "followed" in the dittograph evince omissions of their terminating letters is incorrect.

A close examination of the original document manifests much more than I think you realize. What letters of the words "kindred" and "followed" do you believe are missing?

These are neither common abbreviations nor obvious cases of haplography. It would seem the scribe was simply in a hurry, and couldn't be bothered to finish his words!

An assertion that cannot be supported by the evidence. Indeed, it can be convincingly disproved by the evidence. Neither word was originally unfinished. I think this is simply another case (in a growing list) where Metcalfe's photos are manifesting their inherent inferiority to the high-resolution scans possessed by others. In professional photography, correct lighting can hide flaws. In the case of the photos taken of the KEP back in the mid-80s, incorrect lighting has apparently concealed more than flaws.

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No, Chris, haplography need not be attended by either homoioteleuton nor homoioarcton, although it often is. Haplography can and does commonly refer to any omission of a letter, letters, or words. If you would like, I could cite from multiple authors of text-criticism works to prove it.

I'd be interested in a reference, if only for the sake of my own education.

In the first place, since you seem to have adopted your mentor's penchant for niggling over detail, "elision" is, generally speaking, a referent to sounds omitted in speech.

That is one use of the term, but it can actually refer to any omission. See here.

In any case, your assertion that the instances of the words "kindred" and "followed" in the dittograph evince omissions of their terminating letters is incorrect.

I don't have an image of the page. I'm just using the transcription notes provided by Brent. Hopefully he will drop by and offer a response or clarification. Until then, I'll have to take your word for it.

Peace,

-Chris

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I'd be interested in a reference, if only for the sake of my own education.

First of all, I only said anything because it irks me when Metcalfe avoids the real issues by yielding to his notorious tendency to niggle over unimportant details. "Haplography" in its most general sense simply means an instance where a letter, word, or group of words has been omitted on account of the scribe's eye skipping ahead on the exemplar. I will grant that, more often than not, haplography, like dittography, is facilitated by either homoioteleuton or homoioarcton (same ending or same beginning). But the texts I have read so far (I think I have 7 or 8 on my shelf) seem to regard pretty much any omission from exemplar to abschrift as "haplography" and any duplication as "dittography," regardless of the presence of homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. If I had my way, we would all dispense with the technical jargon and use terms the general readership of the message board can understand.

I find it quite interesting (and refreshing) that, in my many discussions with Royal Skousen, he religiously refuses to use technical text-critical jargon. When referring to a homoioteleuton, he just says "same ending"; when referring to dittography he just says "repeated text." There's something to be said about that lack of pretentiousness, if you ask me.

I don't have an image of the page. I'm just using the transcription notes provided by Brent. Hopefully he will drop by and offer a response or clarification. Until then, I'll have to take your word for it.

Well, I'm not going to say anything else about it, except that I'm convinced that Metcalfe's transcription is incorrect in those two instances, which makes at least four errors I have identified (to date) with just his transcription of this small portion of the manuscripts. All the same, I look forward to his eventual (hopefully soon) publication of his transcriptions, as well as his accompanying annotations. We'll see if they hold up well under intense scrutiny--especially under the eyes of someone who lacks even "a rudimentary understanding of the principles of textual criticism." :P

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Hi Will,

I raised the issue of the definition of "haplography" not because I am a "niggler" about definitions, but because your use of the term made it sound like you were making a formal text critical argument for a visual basis for these omissions. I don't see any indication of a visual basis. In fact, your fixation on the question of terminology while ignoring the question of mechanism-of-omission seems like a case of precisely the sort of thing you find so objectionable in Brent's behavior.

Peace,

-Chris

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I raised the issue of the definition of "haplography" not because I am a "niggler" about definitions, but because your use of the term made it sound like you were making a formal text critical argument for a visual basis for these omissions.

Uh, since we're talking about a dittograph (a visual copying error) I think you can safely assume that there is a "visual basis for these omissions".

I don't see any indication of a visual basis.

So you've said. And yet, to the extent I can convincingly demonstrate that the EA/GAEL are dependent on a pre-existing text of the BoA, then we will know, without a doubt, that all of these Abraham manuscripts are copies of a parent text, correct?

In any event, you say you see no indication that Ab2 was visually copied. I will counter by saying that I am not conscious of a single element of evidence that would suggest it was dictated. What evidence would you adduce to that effect? The common emendations between Ab2 and Ab3? Are you cognizant of the fact that the emendations in both Ab2 and Ab3 are secondary?

In fact, your fixation on the question of terminology ...

My fixation on terminology? Is that some kind of a joke?

... while ignoring the question of mechanism-of-omission ...

I don't ignore the questions. Never have. In fact, I presented arguments concerning each of the variants between the copied exemplar and the dittograph four years ago. I stand by those arguments to the present day. The omissions in question are quite clearly "visually based," as recognized by everyone with even a "rudimentary understanding of textual criticism"--with the odd exception of Metcalfe, and now apparently you and Andrew Cook.

Again, I implore each and every one of you to not let anything Dan or I say dissuade you from publishing your explanation for this text-book specimen of dittography in Ab2. There is nothing that would please me more than to see these explanations in print, especially if (finally!) Brent Metcalfe's name is attached to them.

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Again, I implore each and every one of you to not let anything Dan or I say dissuade you from publishing your explanation for this text-book specimen of dittography in Ab2.

My explanation? What explanation is that? I wasn't aware that I had offered an explanation.

All I was doing here was responding to your claim that visual haplography is a sufficient explanation for these omissions. I think you're wrong. Whether the source was visual or oral, something more would seem to be necessary to explain them. Scribal hurrying is the only sufficient cause I can think of.

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