Eebster the Great wrote:
svenman wrote:Or maybe the writer did not even bother to think about what kind of cereal the term "corn" in the alleged historical document would have referred to and what possibly different kind of cereal their contemporary readers might understand when reading that word, given that they seemed to be of the opinion that nothing of importance hinged on the truth or falsity of that statement, let alone the accuracy of their report of it.
It's absolutely possible that the unnamed "investigator" made this mistake, I agree. Honestly, it doesn't even seem unlikely. The backhanded mention in the corner of a local 1920s newspaper is hardly a compliment. He certainly could have read a document that used the word "corn" and assumed it meant maize when it didn't.
But he could have been way more full of shit even than that. I like the comic because this was so inconsequential and so long ago that there is almost no way to critique the person directly. We might know for sure whether or not the claim is true (somebody probably knows that), but we still couldn't figure out where they went wrong.
Actually, the more I think about it, the more a scenario along the following lines unfolds before my mind's eye:
Editor in chief: (Hands notice to junior reporter)
Here, quickly write that up for tomorrow's paper. I have two inches in the left column to fill on page 20.
Junior reporter: (glances at notice)
Uh, sir, are you sure this could be correct? Corn wasn't -
Editor in chief: Whatever. The typesetter needs to have it in 15 minutes.
Junior reporter: Still, I'd like to factcheck -
Editor in chief: Son, you're still new in this job. Fact-check all you need to on something important, but not on a trifle like this. This goes in the paper for our readers' amusement, and to fill two inches in a column, that's all.
Junior reporter: But the library is still open, I could at least nip over and -
Editor in chief: NO! Under no circumstances are you to waste time and effort on such a silly matter! Nothing whatsoever of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this statement! You will get to your typewriter now
and write a short piece with that in mind! HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?
Junior reporter: ...Yes, sir.
Editor in chief: Good. When you're done, give it straight to the typesetter. I'm off for my usual Thursday evening round of Whist.
Junior reporter: (goes off to write his article in a passive-aggressive mood)