2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Navarr
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:00 am UTC
Location: Independence, OH
Contact:

2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Navarr » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:28 pm UTC

Image

Title Text: POLITIFACT SAYS: MOSTLY WHATEVER

... Wasn't corn discovered in the Americas? Wouldn't this be false due to that alone?

User avatar
Reka
Posts: 262
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:21 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Reka » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:38 pm UTC

Corn is American, yes, but remember that the Pilgrims were coming to America more than a century after it was discovered. Some American foods spread in Europe in what seems like no time flat. (Squashes, for instance, basically took all of a decade.)

The word "corn" in historical records can be problematic, because it was used for all grains, not just maize. However, "corn meal" is unlikely to refer to anything other than maize.

Nevertheless, the claim seems dubious at best.

User avatar
PM 2Ring
Posts: 3715
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:42 pm UTC

In British English, "corn" is a generic term for grain.
Oxford Living Dictionaries wrote:British
The chief cereal crop of a district, especially (in England) wheat or (in Scotland) oats.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:50 pm UTC

In modernish British English, corn is pretty much "wheat" (cornfield == wheatfield) except where specified (e.g. -on the cob, sweet-, pepper-) and I believe it had been a general term for cereal in a non-technical manner (farmers may have been specific about barley, spelt, oats, whatever) so could have been used even more generic. Maize was the "american cereal crop" and undoubtedly became the corn at some point, equivalent to our wheat, etc, post-colonisation, amongst the colonists.

(Ninjaed, though IME oats are only corn here when undifferentiatable.)

And I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about that four-gallons of oil, vinegar and brandy mix. Seems like it's some sort of alcoholic salad dressing!

User avatar
Keyman
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Keyman » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:42 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:And I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about that four-gallons of oil, vinegar and brandy mix. Seems like it's some sort of alcoholic salad dressing!

VSOP Vinaigrette
Nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit which has, at all times, characterized political parties. - A. Hamilton

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:45 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:And I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about that four-gallons of oil, vinegar and brandy mix. Seems like it's some sort of alcoholic salad dressing!


Irrefutable sources indicate that the oil was intended primarily as a personal lubricant.
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

sonar1313
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:53 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:In modernish British English, corn is pretty much "wheat" (cornfield == wheatfield) except where specified (e.g. -on the cob, sweet-, pepper-) and I believe it had been a general term for cereal in a non-technical manner (farmers may have been specific about barley, spelt, oats, whatever) so could have been used even more generic. Maize was the "american cereal crop" and undoubtedly became the corn at some point, equivalent to our wheat, etc, post-colonisation, amongst the colonists.

(Ninjaed, though IME oats are only corn here when undifferentiatable.)

And I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering about that four-gallons of oil, vinegar and brandy mix. Seems like it's some sort of alcoholic salad dressing!

Oil for cooking with, vinegar for cooking and for preservation, and brandy because people got sick and died all the time and brandy definitely helps prevent that.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:01 pm UTC

Umm, you guys all missed it : the first few items are consumables, but "Brandy" is a fine girl, and what a good wife she would make.
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:02 pm UTC

I still think the settlers were secretly French. ;)

(Rather than English, with varying stopovers in the Netherlands.)

itaibn
Posts: 142
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:06 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby itaibn » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:34 pm UTC

At first I thought as indicated here that the Kansas City Sun only published during the period 1914-1920, but this source claims they published on 1908-1924. Both sources only have archives between 1914-1920 which does not include the issue which purportedly holds this testimonial. However, the latter source claims that the newspaper generally publishes on Saturdays, which raises the question of why they would make an exception on Friday May 6th 1921.
I NEVER use all-caps.

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1821
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Mar 27, 2019 5:42 pm UTC

I'm disinclined to believe this as doesn't work as a list of rations without hardtack, meat, or water (or at least really watery beer).
Soupspoon wrote:I still think the settlers were secretly French
That would explain why it was brandy, instead of gin.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 3484
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:25 pm UTC

"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921. I also don't know why you would call it "cornmeal" instead of "flour" if it wasn't maize. But as Reka pointed out, corn would have already been available in the Netherlands long before the Pilgrims departed.

dmckeon
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:13 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby dmckeon » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:35 pm UTC

For contemporaneous (1600s) sources, see
https://sites.rootsweb.com/~smason/html/mayfllog.htm
and search for "hogsheads" and "Josselyn".

The term "corn" in this context is generic, and could mean any English/European grain,
although Josselyn suggests it refers to rye meal.
The phrase "Indian corn" is also used, presumably to mean
the New World grain which grows as kernels on ears on stalks.

DonR
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby DonR » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:38 pm UTC

Quite apart from the details of what English colonists were required to bring, and what "corn" might refer to, the use of "them" ("...each person...was required to bring with them...") would have been highly unusual for a reputable newspaper in 1921. At that point in history, respectable usage would have required "him" for the "generic person".

User avatar
orion205
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:49 am UTC
Location: Left coast

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby orion205 » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:31 pm UTC

itaibn wrote:At first I thought as indicated here that the Kansas City Sun only published during the period 1914-1920, but this source claims they published on 1908-1924. Both sources only have archives between 1914-1920 which does not include the issue which purportedly holds this testimonial. However, the latter source claims that the newspaper generally publishes on Saturdays, which raises the question of why they would make an exception on Friday May 6th 1921.


That's the wrong Kansas City Sun. Try this one.

User avatar
GlassHouses
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby GlassHouses » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:34 pm UTC

DonR wrote:the use of "them" ("...each person...was required to bring with them...") would have been highly unusual for a reputable newspaper in 1921. At that point in history, respectable usage would have required "him" for the "generic person".

The singular they may not have been as common in 1921 as it is today, but it wasn't unheard of. That usage goes back at least to Shakespeare.

Besides, once you start the sentence with "each person," using the inclusive "he" in the second half sounds awkward. Either be gender-neutral in both parts, or use the inclusive masculine in both.

Having said all that, I do agree that the "person...them" part looks anachronistic. I wonder if that's a literal transcription, or did someone modernize the language?

Showsni
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:09 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Showsni » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:45 pm UTC

orion205 wrote:
itaibn wrote:At first I thought as indicated here that the Kansas City Sun only published during the period 1914-1920, but this source claims they published on 1908-1924. Both sources only have archives between 1914-1920 which does not include the issue which purportedly holds this testimonial. However, the latter source claims that the newspaper generally publishes on Saturdays, which raises the question of why they would make an exception on Friday May 6th 1921.


That's the wrong Kansas City Sun. Try this one.


Indeed, that finds it quite easily: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2997772 ... mportance/

I can't tell if the advert for a bowling alley on the same page is being serious or tongue in cheek when it says that bowling is excellent exercise for the body and mind...

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 3484
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:05 am UTC

I wonder if it's just a one-off, or if "Really Not Important" was a recurring (humorous) bit in that paper. Maybe they just found they had a few inches to fill that day? The world may never know.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:18 am UTC

And, given how little it matters, it may never be truly established. ;)

User avatar
The Moomin
Posts: 359
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby The Moomin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:41 am UTC

Hi. Can we have the foods back now please.
I'm alive because the cats are alive.
The cats are alive because I'm alive.
Specious.

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:42 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Umm, you guys all missed it : the first few items are consumables, but "Brandy" is a fine girl, and what a good wife she would make.

If she's such a fine girl, how come she works in a bar frequented by sailors?

User avatar
Time Traveler
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:06 am UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Time Traveler » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:41 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:
orion205 wrote:
itaibn wrote:At first I thought as indicated here that the Kansas City Sun only published during the period 1914-1920, but this source claims they published on 1908-1924. Both sources only have archives between 1914-1920 which does not include the issue which purportedly holds this testimonial. However, the latter source claims that the newspaper generally publishes on Saturdays, which raises the question of why they would make an exception on Friday May 6th 1921.


That's the wrong Kansas City Sun. Try this one.


Indeed, that finds it quite easily: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/2997772 ... mportance/

I can't tell if the advert for a bowling alley on the same page is being serious or tongue in cheek when it says that bowling is excellent exercise for the body and mind...


I'm glad to see somebody fact-checked this comic about fact-checking. Of course, I can't help but think that perhaps the effort is entirely contrary to the spirit of the comic. After all, nothing of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this quotation from an old newspaper.
xkcd fan since 2009.

User avatar
Old Bruce
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:27 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Old Bruce » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:37 pm UTC

Time Traveler wrote:...
I'm glad to see somebody fact-checked this comic about fact-checking. Of course, I can't help but think that perhaps the effort is entirely contrary to the spirit of the comic. After all, nothing of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this quotation from an old newspaper.

Alleged old.

reval
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:56 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby reval » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:26 am UTC

Ahhh, thanks! It was bothering me why this wasn't bothering me, and now I understand!
GlassHouses wrote:
DonR wrote:the use of "them" ("...each person...was required to bring with them...") would have been highly unusual for a reputable newspaper in 1921. At that point in history, respectable usage would have required "him" for the "generic person".

The singular they may not have been as common in 1921 as it is today, but it wasn't unheard of. That usage goes back at least to Shakespeare.

Hurray for They.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:30 am UTC

Old Bruce wrote:
Time Traveler wrote:...
I'm glad to see somebody fact-checked this comic about fact-checking. Of course, I can't help but think that perhaps the effort is entirely contrary to the spirit of the comic. After all, nothing of importance hinges on the truth or falsity of this quotation from an old newspaper.

Alleged old.


And yet... there appears to be confusion about who this list applied to. "Pilgrims" were only indirectly from England, having first been sent off to the Netherlands. Did this list of goodies apply to the "second wave" of arriving Pilgrims, or did it apply to anyone who was emigrating directly from England? The fate of the free world depends on the answer!
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1821
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:12 pm UTC

Actually, it was addressing pilgrims from London to Canterbury that got really badly lost.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

User avatar
Old Bruce
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:27 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Old Bruce » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:04 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Actually, it was addressing pilgrims from London to Canterbury that got really badly lost.

Not certain that Brandy was available to them. Too lazy to Fact Check.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:45 pm UTC

Old Bruce wrote:Not certain that Brandy was available to them. Too lazy to Fact Check.

You must know a different Brandy than me because the Brandy I know is available to anybody. [insert reaction gif meme here]
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

DavidSh
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:09 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby DavidSh » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:19 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
And yet... there appears to be confusion about who this list applied to. "Pilgrims" were only indirectly from England, having first been sent off to the Netherlands. Did this list of goodies apply to the "second wave" of arriving Pilgrims, or did it apply to anyone who was emigrating directly from England? The fate of the free world depends on the answer!


But the final point of departure was Plymouth, after them having twice turned back because of the Speedwell suffering leaks. So, if there were any such rules about people coming from England, they might have been applied.

xtifr
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby xtifr » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:48 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921.

I suspect that what it might or might not have meant to people who wouldn't be born for several more centuries, living in an as-yet undiscovered part of the New World, was not a great concern of the people who wrote the (alleged) documents. :mrgreen:
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 3484
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:02 pm UTC

xtifr wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921.

I suspect that what it might or might not have meant to people who wouldn't be born for several more centuries, living in an as-yet undiscovered part of the New World, was not a great concern of the people who wrote the (alleged) documents. :mrgreen:

You're missing the point. It was the newspaper, not the documents, that used the word "corn." It wouldn't have called it corn if it meant wheat.

xtifr
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby xtifr » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:35 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
xtifr wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921.

I suspect that what it might or might not have meant to people who wouldn't be born for several more centuries, living in an as-yet undiscovered part of the New World, was not a great concern of the people who wrote the (alleged) documents. :mrgreen:

You're missing the point. It was the newspaper, not the documents, that used the word "corn." It wouldn't have called it corn if it meant wheat.

I'm sorry. You think the newspaper rephrased what the document said, in order to confuse people, rather than simply accurately quoting what the document said? I find that extremely improbable.
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:47 am UTC

I think he's saying that the newspaper would have paraphrased the document one way or another, not quoted it verbatim, and would have phrased that paraphrase in the language of the time. So if the newspaper said that documents claim that people had to bring corn, then the newspaper was saying the documents claims that people had to bring maize, not that the documents claim that people had to bring wheat, because when the newspaper writers said "corn" they would mean maize, and if they thought the documents meant wheat when the document said "corn", the newspapers writers would have said "wheat".

Of course it's possible that the documents said "corn", and meant wheat, and the newspapers writers read "corn" and incorrectly thought that it meant maize, and so wrote "corn" meaning maize, even though the documents meant wheat when they wrote "corn".
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 3484
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:58 am UTC

Right, exactly. If today a newspaper reported that the price of corn in 1600 was ten pence a pound, people will assume they mean maize, even if in the 1600s, that's not what corn meant.

User avatar
svenman
Posts: 673
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:09 pm UTC
Location: 675 km NNE of the Château d'If

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby svenman » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:18 pm UTC

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.
Apart from Forum Games, mostly active on the One True Thread.
If you need help understanding what's going on there, the xkcd Time Wiki may be useful.

Addams thanks all of us who helped. Her life is much better now.

Randallspeed to all blitzers on the One True Thread!

User avatar
PM 2Ring
Posts: 3715
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:19 pm UTC
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby PM 2Ring » Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:01 pm UTC

I doubt that the oil was cooking oil. It was much more likely to have been lamp oil.

Although olive oil has been consumed in Mediterranean regions since ancient times, Britons in the era of the Pilgrims used animal fats for cooking. The use of vegetable oil in Britain for cooking is a relatively recent trend. Even as late as the 1950s, olive oil wasn't a common food ingredient, although it was available in pharmacies for medicinal uses.

DavidSh
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:09 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby DavidSh » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:25 pm UTC

Indeed. An English cookbook from 1615, http://www.staff.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/1615murr.htm, mentions using butter frequently, lard occasionally, and "oyle" in only two cases: once with vinegar as a dressing for "sallet", and once (as "sallet oyle") for frying fish.

User avatar
GlassHouses
Posts: 200
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby GlassHouses » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:11 am UTC

Deep frying, too, used to be done mostly using animal fat, specifically, beef tallow. The switch to vegetable oil took place quite recently, to serve the growing demand for vegetarian-friendly French fries. According to Wikipedia, McDonald's made the switch in 1990.

User avatar
Eebster the Great
Posts: 3484
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:10 am UTC

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.

EDIT: On the note above, I assume lamp oil was edible, right? What was the property of whale oil that made it so prized for lamps over other animal fats in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and did this make it inferior as a cooking oil? Was whale oil even used in the early 1600s?

User avatar
Sableagle
Ormurinn's Alt
Posts: 2149
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:26 pm UTC
Location: The wrong side of the mirror
Contact:

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Postby Sableagle » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:33 am UTC

GlassHouses wrote:Deep frying, too, used to be done mostly using animal fat, specifically, beef tallow. The switch to vegetable oil took place quite recently, to serve the growing demand for vegetarian-friendly French fries. According to Wikipedia, McDonald's made the switch in 1990.

As recently as last year I heard someone making sure that a fish & chip shop uses beef fat before ordering there.

Parts of this county are already in the 20th century.
Zohar wrote:You don't know what you're talking about. Please spare me your quote sniping and general obliviousness.

CorruptUser wrote:Just admit that you were wrong ... and your entire life, cyberspace and meatspace both, would be orders of magnitude more enjoyable for you and others around you.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acunning40 and 111 guests