Cecil, Almighty God, Where for art thou get thy answers?

Cecil-

I’ve noticed you like to criticize people for asking you questions about thousands of different topics. Sure, you’ll answer them, but only after gaining the upper hand.

Do you know the answers to all the questions you’re asked? Or are you merely a great researcher? I suspect you’re a great researcher.

Thanks :slight_smile:

I say both. Cecil knows everything, but talks with a second source to A) make sure he’s communicating it properly and B) pad out some of those columns that might otherwise have a slightly skimpy word count.

Question for Federalist:

What difference does it make? If you enjoy reading the column, don’t worry so much about who wrote it.

If you personally require a column to be written by somebody who really, truly, 100% guaranteed actually knows all that stuff, allow me to buy you a subscription to your local Sunday paper, where you can read Marilyn Vos Savant every Sunday in Parade magazine.

Personally, I think Cecil’s column is a lot more interesting (even if it IS written by the international Jewish conspiracy.)

:cool:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” - the White Queen

[[If you personally require a column to be written by somebody who really, truly, 100% guaranteed actually knows all that stuff, allow me to buy you a subscription to your local Sunday paper, where you can read Marilyn Vos Savant every Sunday in Parade magazine.]]

Blasphemy!

And yes, Cecil Adams writes the column. He calls on little Ed and the rest of us occasionally to find citations or confirmation for what he knows to be true.

(pet peeve alert)

“Wherefore art thou…” means “why are you…”.

So the OP is asking, “Why are you getting your answers”…or something like that.

Therefore I must ask:

Wherefore dost thou write like such a moron? Dost thou think thyself clever? Thou art surely mistaken.

(pet peeve rant over, please go back to your normal activities, ignore the insane woman in the corner)


“The analyst went barking up the wrong tree, of course. I never should have mentioned unicorns to a Freudian.” – Dottie (“Jumpers” by Tom Stoppard)

How about:

“Whence gettest thou thine answers.”

Tinker

Hey, Paula, get out of my corner! There’s only room for ONE crazy person in here!

Get your own corner!

:smiley:

It’s 1:15. It must be time for English Class:
Fed: FYI, it’s like this:
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo, doesn’t mean “where are you, Romeo?” It’s punctuated like this: “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou ‘Romeo’?” and means this:
“Romeo, Romeo, why must you be ‘Romeo’?” She’s wishing he had a different name. You don’t want to know why.

OK, English class is over. Time for Underwater Basketweaving.
Just one tiny skirmish in the battle against ignorance…


“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” - the White Queen

Hey Hey Paula, what?

That doesn’t make sense.

“Wherefore art thou…” seems to be asking “Where are you…”, not “Why are you…”

Or see Notthemama’s post.

Though the OP should be “Where dost thou gettest thy answers?” (Or is that “doest”?)

But hey, we allow inane titles all the time.

Um, Irishman, Notthemama’s post agrees with me.

(whiny voice and stamping feet on)

Wherefore means why! It does, it does, it does! Why, why, why! Not where, why!

(whiny voice and stamping feet off)


“The analyst went barking up the wrong tree, of course. I never should have mentioned unicorns to a Freudian.” – Dottie (“Jumpers” by Tom Stoppard)

I’m gonna show you a magic trick.

First, pretend the word is “therefore,” not “wherefore.” Now, we know “therefore” means “for that reason.” We also know that the difference between it and “wherefore” is that begins with a T instead of a W, right? And look, a word in “for that reason,” the definition of “therefore,” also begins with a T, so let’s just replace that with a W . . . and we get “for what reason,” or “why.”

Ok, so it’s not magic. But i find if i explain it any other way i get blank stares.

Phantomwise

…never seen by waking eyes…

That’s a pet peeve of mine, too.

Dunno why.

It really gets to me, though.

::Shrug::


Eschew Obfuscation

::Ahem::

By that I mean people misusing it is a pet-peeve, not that it means that.

::Grumble Read twice, post once, not the other way around::

Phantmwise? It’s a nice magic trick, really, but–don’t quit your day job…

:smiley:

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” - the White Queen

And now, back to the original post (drawing a curtain around Paula and Notthemama). Pay no attention to the women behind the curtain… :wink:
Cecil undoubtedly does both, Federalist. He knows an awful lot, and this gives him a pretty good feeling for an answer, as well as a good idea where to go to flesh out answers. If you look through the archive, you will see answers Cecil handled directly (such as Why do wet things look darker than dry things?) and those where he engaged in efforts to obtain answers from those who know (such as In the old Lone Ranger series, what did “kemosabe” mean?). Then there are MY favorites: the questions Cecil does research to answer, such as: Which will keep you drier, running through the rain or walking?.

One should note, Cecil’s answers are not universally accepted, and he has to do follow-up work at times, such as with: Who invented the smiley face? (one of my all time favorites). Sometimes, the masses here on the SDMB refuse to easily accept Cecil’s answers, and you can find any number of threads here challenging Cecil’s ideas on Sucking spaghetti, revisited by the master at: How do you suck spaghetti? (cont’d). Some of our SDSAB members who answer the mailbag questions have taken up Cecil’s ways, though perhaps to excess (see for example what happened to poor Eutychus at How many cities are there in the U.S.?; we still wonder if he made a complete recovery…).
And then, there are the instances where, gasp, dare I say it and let the cat out of the bag… oh what the hell, I’m going for it!.. Cecil is wrong. Mind you, it happens with limited frequency. And I’m NOT talking about situations where people disagree with his opinions (e.g.:What’s up with homeopathy?; see the current thread on this in this forum). I’m talking about actual factual error. For instance, there is Cecil’s dismissal of anyone actually liking Circus Peanuts (see Does anybody actually like Circus Peanuts candy? and the follow-up at Readers’ shocking confession: we LIKE Circus Peanuts!). Yes, this borders close to the opinion category. Recently, the SDMB managed to identify a minor error from Cecil regarding manhole covers, noting that a cover shaped as an equilateral triangle can fall in (see: Why are manhole covers round?). Of course, like most of us, Cecil will find an escape clause (see: Was Cecil wrong about the weight of clouds? (cont’d)). But, occaisionally, even when the reason for his mistake is understandable, he will indeed admit error (see: Update: Did Thomas Jefferson father children by his slave mistress?). To me, that makes Cecil’s work worth reading, research, knowledge, or just flat out funny opinion. :slight_smile:

[hijack continued]So what you’re saying is that Shakespeare was a putz?

Okay, so Shakespeare’s point for Juliet was not “Where is my darling Romeo?” but rather “Why couldn’t I fall in love with anyone else besides Romeo, the putz from the wrong family?”

Or something like that…

[/hijack closed]

The “Wherefore art thou …” controversy was originally explained by Linus in a Peanuts cartoon strip maybe 20 years ago. As I recall, Sally replied “Now that I know that, what do I do?”, a thought that I have echoed many times.

Now you stop misusing “wherefore” to mean “where”.

And in no way is the meaning of “wherefore” a “controversy”, if that’s what you’re referring to. It’s just something of which many of the teeming millions are apparently ignorant, unfortunately.

We still love you, and hope you stay.

But, bringing back VERY OLD threads from the dead is a no-no. :smack:

Stick around. You’ll be a pro in no time. :slight_smile:

Principessa:
Just to explain what samclem said: many of the people who posted in this four-year old thread are no longer on the boards. Federalist who started the thread and fumbled the use of “wherefore”, for instance, and mipsman whom you quoted, ain’t around any longer. So, when one comments on an old thread, the originals often aren’t around to respond or rebut or defend themselves or whatever. It’s thus considered somewhat “unfair” to pull up very old threads. There is a logic behind our madness.

If it’s a no-no to post to this thread, why isn’t it locked?

And if I’m going to start with the oldest threads and read my way back because that’s how I have to search, I’m darn well going to post to one of them if I feel like it. Maybe it’s old to you, but it’s new to me. And perhaps there might be some other newbies who haven’t seen it before?