I can’t recall when I heard that phrase, ‘citing chapter and verse’, whenever someone referred to a line of scripture. It definitely was when I was young, at least as old as my early days of attending religious school at the reform Jewish synagogue I went to in Massapequa in Long Island.
It is the basic key phrase to scholarship and honest recounting of a quotation. The cornerstone of facts and what is true.
If you are discussing the phrase ‘An eye for an eye’, for example then you would say Exodus 21: 24. Then anyone interested in what you are talking about could check it out.
It is obviously, at least to me, useless to say “The phrase ‘an eye for an eye’ is in the Bible.” That doesn’t tell me if you meant the Hebrew Scriptures, in Christian circles this is the so-called ‘Old Testament’, or the New Testament. Either way you are talking about somewhere in around 1000 to 2000 pages! How in heavens name is anyone going to find out the context of what you are talking about without the minimum of a citation, ie. Chapter and verse.
Another useless thing to do is to write something like: ‘A rose by any other name will smell as sweet, Shakespeare.” The man has written millions of words in hundreds of plays and sonnets, how on earth is anyone going to know what you mean, or if you quoted the phrase correctly if all you give is the author’s name?
A quotation without a proper citation is merely something that is supposedly attributed to some author, and it may or may not be true or accurate.
For some bizarre and foolish reason it has been the habit for American publishers, authors, and websites to have this anti-scholarship, anti-education, reverse snobbery. As if it taints you if you at all admit that you can think and read a book. It annoys me no end to see books or any kind, fiction or nonfiction, or websites that just give a quotation without any proper citation. As if the author and or editor is afraid of looking intelligent or implying that the reader is illiterate and embarrassed that they can’t read and can’t look something up in a book!
The whole reason we have Trumpisms and his fake news is because intelligent people are afraid to look intelligent and literate by refusing to present proper citations. Without proper citations as to the source of your facts then they can never be checked. Which is exactly what con men want to have happen!
So stop promoting ignorance and illiteracy!
Stop being afraid of scholars, scholarship, and education.
Put a citation for your quotations!
Be proud of your literacy and your education!
Otherwise all you have is a bunch of useless words on a page.
A great website to help promote literacy and clear thinking: quoteinvestigator.com/
In 1994, we were greeted with something new and different.
Laurie R. King introduced to the world the life and times of Mary Russell.
I imagine it began with a ‘What if’ thought in the mind of Ms. King, when she was contemplating sticking her literary toe into the waters of Holmesian fiction. She clearly wanted to do something new and untried. Hence my ‘what if’. “What if, Holmes did retire, and what if he encountered during this time of a retirement someone who could become his protégé and apprentice?” Interesting. But there is more. “What if that person was younger than Holmes?” Interesting. “What if that person was much younger?” More intriguing. “What if that person was 3 times as young as Holmes at that first meeting?” Very daring! “What if that person was a young woman?”
(I believe her what if was more like: ‘What if Sherlock Holmes was a Victorian Woman….’)
But, would it work?
In the hands of Ms. King it did and it does. Thus, we were given a look in 1994 at Mary Russell who was to become ‘The Bee Keepers Apprentice’, in the first novel concerning the life and times of Russell and Holmes.
For some this may sound like heresy.
For some this may read like heresy.
But I have been following Ms. King’s chronicles of Ms. Russell and they are to me…canonical.
Ms. King has Russell being born on January 2, 1900, probably to make it easy to determine her age. Ms. King then audaciously moves the established age and birth of Holmes from the ‘canonical’, via the scholarship of William Stuart Baring-Gould who had placed Holmes birth in January 6, 1854, from that year to the year 1861. Claiming that Watson and Doyle both agreed that an older Holmes would appeal and be more acceptable to the readers of the published fictionalized accounts of Holmes’s life.
This would make Russell 15 and Holmes 54.
Ms. King clearly adores her Ms. Russell and lovingly and skillfully brings her to life on the pages of the chronicles of Ms. Russell’s life as presented by Ms. King. In the hands of someone with less skill and talents, this could have been a disaster.
Ms. King manages to pull it off and the books just keep on getting better and better.
You should care of about Ms. Russell if you care about Holmes.
Gary Jaron's musings.
In my High School Art Department someone had made an ornate sign on hung it on the wall that read: 'Ignore this sign completely.' A paradox couched in sarcasm and irony. This blog is for random musings on anything and everything that comes into my head.