Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

"the burdens of omniscience"

Expand Messages
  • al_cyone
    I just learned that one of my late uncle s favorite expressions, one that we, as kids, had always assumed was something he came up with himself, is in fact a
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 5, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      I just learned that one of my late uncle's favorite expressions, one
      that we, as kids, had always assumed was something he came up with
      himself, is in fact a statement by Nero Wolfe:

      "On the contrary, Archie, I love to make a mistake. It's my only
      assurance that I can not reasonably be expected to assume the burdens
      of omniscience."

      I'm hoping someone here can tell me which book (and chapter?) this
      comes from.

      Thanks in advance.
    • a@avenarius.sk
      ... A scholarly query deserves a scholarly reply! Our omniscience nominees are... (and there are no more than 3 omniscience nominees in the entire Corpus): *
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 5, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        On Wednesday, 5th March 2008 at 17:41:26 (GMT), al_cyone wrote:

        > I just learned that one of my late uncle's favorite expressions, one
        > that we, as kids, had always assumed was something he came up with
        > himself, is in fact a statement by Nero Wolfe:

        > "On the contrary, Archie, I love to make a mistake. It's my only
        > assurance that I can not reasonably be expected to assume the burdens
        > of omniscience."

        > I'm hoping someone here can tell me which book (and chapter?) this comes from.



        A scholarly query deserves a scholarly reply!

        Our omniscience nominees are... (and there are no more than 3 "omniscience"
        nominees in the entire Corpus):



        * [...] our great advantage lay in the fact that no one was aware how
        much or how little we knew and that on account of our original coup
        we were suspected of omniscience.

        _Fer-de-Lance_ (1934), chapter 8



        * Wolfe shrugged. "Confronted with omniscience, I bow. [...]"

        'Home to Roost' (1952), chapter 6 (from _Triple Jeopardy_, 1952)



        ... and the winner is...



        * When the event proved that he had been wrong about something,
        it was a delight to see him handle it. He would wiggle his finger a little
        more rapidly and violently than usual, and mutter with his eyes nearly
        open at me, "Archie. I love to make a mistake, it is my only assurance
        that I cannot reasonably be expected to assume the burden of omniscience."

        _The League of Frightened Men_ (1935), chapter 13



        Note the slight differences in spelling, diction, and punctuation
        compared to your uncle's version. ;-) Rex Stout was famous for
        disregarding formal punctuation rules in his narratives as penned
        by Archie Goodwin, and for scolding any editor who would presume
        to correct his punctuation. Here, I believe, is one such example
        of non-standard punctuation: according to formal rules of English
        grammar, I'm pretty sure a semicolon (or period) would have to follow
        the word "mistake". But, we get a comma instead -- and I checked this
        in my paperbound copy of _The League of Frightened Men_. On the other
        hand, I'm pretty sure "both Wolfe and Stout" would be incensed if they
        saw the common spelling mistake of "can not" instead of "cannot"
        enter the Corpus. ;-)

        --
        Yours,
        Alex.
        http://stout.avenarius.sk

        [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
      • al_cyone
        Thanks so much for such a prompt and informative reply! In defense of my uncle s version, it s been more than thirty years since I heard him say it and I m
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 5, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Thanks so much for such a prompt and informative reply!

          In defense of my uncle's version, it's been more than thirty years
          since I heard him say it and I'm sure my recollection had been
          corrupted by the slightly varying versions I found on the Web
          this week. So it's quite possible, indeed probable knowing my uncle,
          that he got it right. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe he
          ever read a novel in his life, so either he heard it somewhere else or
          there was a side to him that was unknown to the rest of us.

          I also appreciate your (Archie's? Nero's? Rex's?) regard for
          punctuation. As for "can not", that's actually my preferred spelling
          when I want to emphasize the "not". Otherwise I'll usually use
          "can't". "Cannot" just LOOKS wrong to me.

          In this regard I recently discovered Paul Brian's "Common Errors in
          English Usage". From what I've read so far it seems to strike just the
          right balance between persnickityness and anarchy.

          http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/

          Thanks again. I can't say I'll turn into a Wolfe-hound (a Stout
          fellow?), but your message has certainly piqued my curiosity.

          - Al
        • missanneshirleyofgg
          Although I am sure Stout knew the correct spelling, etc, it is definitely a wonderful vehicle for those who are challenged by spelling and grammar like myself
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Although I am sure Stout knew the correct spelling, etc, it is
            definitely a wonderful vehicle for those who are challenged by
            spelling and grammar like myself to have a narrator who isn't expected
            to have proper punctuation, etc.

            My father is the most intelligent man I know, and he can't spell worth
            a damn. He also authored a detective novel in the 70's, but, I have
            never been able to find it even through rare book websites. My mother
            served as his editor, as she always had correct diction, punctuation
            and spelling.

            Lizzie

            --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, a@... wrote:
            >
            > Note the slight differences in spelling, diction, and punctuation
            > compared to your uncle's version. ;-) Rex Stout was famous for
            > disregarding formal punctuation rules in his narratives as penned
            > by Archie Goodwin, and for scolding any editor who would presume
            > to correct his punctuation. Here, I believe, is one such example
            > of non-standard punctuation: according to formal rules of English
            > grammar, I'm pretty sure a semicolon (or period) would have to follow
            > the word "mistake". But, we get a comma instead -- and I checked this
            > in my paperbound copy of _The League of Frightened Men_. On the other
            > hand, I'm pretty sure "both Wolfe and Stout" would be incensed if they
            > saw the common spelling mistake of "can not" instead of "cannot"
            > enter the Corpus. ;-)
            >
            > --
            > Yours,
            > Alex.
            > http://stout.avenarius.sk
            >
            > [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
            >
          • Paul O'Donnell
            ... Well give us the title and his pen name, and we ll all keep a look out for it! Paul
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              missanneshirleyofgg wrote:
              > Although I am sure Stout knew the correct spelling, etc, it is
              > definitely a wonderful vehicle for those who are challenged by
              > spelling and grammar like myself to have a narrator who isn't expected
              > to have proper punctuation, etc.
              >
              > My father is the most intelligent man I know, and he can't spell worth
              > a damn. He also authored a detective novel in the 70's, but, I have
              > never been able to find it even through rare book websites. My mother
              > served as his editor, as she always had correct diction, punctuation
              > and spelling.
              >
              > Lizzie
              >
              >

              Well give us the title and his pen name, and we'll all keep a look out
              for it!

              Paul
            • a@avenarius.sk
              ... Since the quotation comes from _The League of Frightened Men_, and this novel, as one of only 2 Nero Wolfe stories, also received a film adaptation (very
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 04:12:49 (GMT), al_cyone wrote:

                > I find it hard to believe [my uncle] ever read a novel in his life,
                > so either he heard it somewhere else or there was a side to him
                > that was unknown to the rest of us.


                Since the quotation comes from _The League of Frightened Men_,
                and this novel, as one of only 2 Nero Wolfe stories, also received a film
                adaptation (very early on, in 1937): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029127/
                ... perhaps your uncle heard the phrase in the movie version (if it's included)?


                > I can't say I'll turn into a Wolfe-hound (a Stout fellow?),
                > but your message has certainly piqued my curiosity.


                If you're considering reading your very first Nero Wolfe volume
                and the mystery angle is important to you (you're primarily a mystery
                buff), I'd suggest for you to start with _The Silent Speaker_ (1946).
                If you simply like good literature and the whodunnit aspect is not so
                important, I'd suggest to start with the very first Nero Wolfe novel,
                _Fer-de-Lance_ (1934).

                Among other Wolfe volumes I consider to be masterpieces are, in the
                order of preference: _In the Best Families_ (1950), _Too Many Cooks_ (1938),
                _Over My Dead Body_ (1940), _Plot It Yourself_ a.k.a. _Murder in Style_ (1959),
                _Death of a Doxy_ (1966), and _The Doorbell Rang_ (1965).

                For the best Nero Wolfe short story, I'd go to 'Frame-Up for Murder'
                (1958) from the post-humous volume _Death Times Three_ [1985].

                From among the others, many Nero Wolfe novels and especially short stories
                ("novelettes") seem dull and forgettable. From among the novels, I found
                _Where There's a Will_ (1940), _The Second Confession_ (1949), _Champagne
                for One_ (1958), and _The Final Deduction_ (1961) particularly bad
                or uninteresting. I'm afraid Rex Stout's prodigious output is primarily
                responsible for him being generally not very much appreciated by mainstream
                literary criticism. If Rex Stout's art were only to be judged by his
                finest achievements, such as those listed in the foregoing two
                paragraphs, I'm sure he would long have been recognized as one
                of the masters of American comic and/or mystery literature,
                on a par with Mark Twain and/or Raymond Chandler.


                > As for "can not", that's actually my preferred spelling when I want
                > to emphasize the "not". Otherwise I'll usually use "can't". "Cannot"
                > just LOOKS wrong to me.


                I know where you're coming from: http://alexfiles.com/cannot.shtml

                In my college (that prefers British English, being located in Europe),
                using "can not" was a big no-no. Those of my English language manuals
                that are published in Britain are quite unequivocal in saying that
                "can not" must not be used. (There you have the absurdity: "cannot"
                and "must not" are considered correct, while "can not" and "mustnot"
                are deemed incorrect -- for no apparent reason.) For the British view,
                see, for instance, _Longman Guide to English Usage_ by Sidney Greenbaum
                et al. (1988), with a foreword by Randolph Quirk. Of course, there's
                no greater imaginable authority on (British) English than Quirk
                & Greenbaum. American usage manuals tend to blur the distinctions
                (and a similar trend led Wolfe to burn Merriam _Webster's Third New
                International Dictionary_ in Chapter 1 of _Gambit_). As to frequency,
                "can not" has 77 million hits in Google, while "cannot" has half
                a billion. Seeing as Wolfe (originally himself European) frequently
                prefers the British conventions over the American ones (see his
                contempt for "I will" as opposed to "I shall", or solving crosswords
                in the London rather than the New York Times), it's probable
                he would just grunt and growl if he ever came across
                "can not" in one of Archie's narratives. ;-)


                > In this regard I recently discovered Paul Brian's "Common Errors
                > in English Usage". From what I've read so far it seems to strike
                > just the right balance between persnickityness and anarchy.

                > http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/


                Right. And although Paul Brian, too, in the American style, blurs
                the distinction between "cannot" and "can not", he seems to prefer
                "cannot" for standard usage, unless the writer has a valid reason
                to opt otherwise: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/cannot.html


                > I also appreciate your (Archie's? Nero's? Rex's?) regard for punctuation.


                I suppose me and Wolfe have a regard for punctuation, while with
                Rex Stout and Archie, one should rather probably speak about their
                *disregard* for punctuation. :-D In some volumes, Wolfe is reproduced
                dictating letters to Archie, distinctly enunciating each punctuation mark,
                such as the semicolon that makes its appearance 5 times in the Corpus
                (though the manner in which this is reported by Archie changes from
                volume to volume):



                * Wolfe turned to me. "Archie, take this down and type it. One carbon.
                'I hereby affirm that in any negotiations I may undertake regarding
                the will of Noel Hawthorne, deceased, I shall consider Mrs. Noel
                Hawthorne as one of my clients and shall in good faith safeguard
                her interests, and shall notify her in advance of any change in my
                commitments, semicolon, it being understood that a bill for her
                share of my fee shall be paid by her. A line for a witness.'"

                _Where There's a Will_ (1940), chapter 2

                [Right here, we have another piece of evidence for Archie Goodwin's /
                Rex Stout's sloppy pronunciation: the closing single quotation mark
                should have preceded, not followed, the final sentence, "A line for
                a witness.", since that's the same sort of sentence as "One carbon."
                preceding the internal quotation. At least that's how the erroneous
                closing single quotation mark appears in my paperbound copy
                of WTAW, Bantam Books 1992.]



                * He turned. "Archie. Can we get an advertisement in the evening
                papers? [...] It must be conspicuous. Two columns wide, or three.
                Headed in thirty-six-point, boldface, extended, 'To Mr Knapp.'
                Then in twelve-point: 'The woman whose property is in your
                possession has engaged my services (period). She is now in my office
                (period). [...] If her property is not returned to her (comma),
                or if it is damaged beyond repair (comma), I have engaged to
                devote my time (comma), energy (comma), and talent (comma),
                for as long as may be required (comma), to ensure just and
                fitting requital (semicolon); and she has determined to support me
                to the full extent of her resources (period). If you do not know
                enough of me to be aware of the significance of this engagement
                to your future (comma), I advise you to inform yourself regarding
                my competence and my tenacity (period).' Beneath, in fourteen-point
                boldface, 'Nero Wolfe.' To be billed to me. Can you do it by phone?"

                _The Final Deduction_ (1961), chapter 1

                [Here, we find another point of dispute between American and
                British/European usage. Logically, the final closing single quotation
                mark should precede the period, rather than follow it, as what is to
                appear in fourteen-point boldface in the advertisement is the name
                "Nero Wolfe", without the period. American usage frequently blurs
                the distinction, putting the quotation mark after the period, comma,
                etc., regardless of whether the punctuation mark is part of the
                quotation or not.]



                * Wolfe turned. "Archie, the typewriter. Two carbons. [...] Single-spaced,
                wide margins. The date. On behalf of my corporation, Continental Plastic
                Products, I hereby engage Nero Wolfe to investigate the circumstances
                of the death of [spoiler]. It is understood that Wolfe will make every
                effort to protect the reputation and interests of the corporation, comma,
                and will disclose no facts or information that will harm the corporation's
                repute or prestige, comma, unless he is compelled to do so by his legal
                obligation as a citizen and a licensed private detective, semicolon;
                and if he fails to observe this provision he is to receive no pay
                for his services or reimbursement for his expenses. [...]"

                _Too Many Clients_ (1960), chapter 7



                * "Your notebook, please." I sat and got my notebook and pen.

                "There will be two," he said, "one for you and one for me. First mine.
                Heading in caps, affidavit by Nero Wolfe. The usual State of New York,
                County of New York. The text: I hereby depose that the twelve foregoing
                typewritten pages attached hereto, comma, each page initialed by me,
                comma, are a full and accurate record of a conversation that took place
                in my office on October thirteenth, nineteen sixty-one, by Susan McLeod,
                comma, Archie Goodwin, comma, and myself, semicolon; that nothing
                of consequence has been omitted or added in this typewritten record,
                semicolon; and that the conversation was wholly impromptu, comma, with
                no prior preparation or arrangement. A space for my signature, and below,
                the conventional formula for notarizing. The one for you, on the same
                sheet if there is room, will be the same with the appropriate changes."

                'Murder Is Corny' (1962), chapter 4 (from _Trio for Blunt Instruments_, 1964)



                * "Pfui. That was conversation. This is work. There are other similarities,
                equally remarkable, in these stories. Two of them are verbal. [...]"

                "I'm sold," I averred. "Coincidence is out."

                "But there are two others. One is punctuation. They are all fond of semicolons
                and use them where most people would prefer a comma or a dash."

                _Plot It Yourself_ a.k.a. _Murder in Style_ (1959), chapter 3

                [Not related to dictation but, of course, no other character except
                Nero Wolfe would explicitly refer to semicolons in a murder mystery
                novel. ;-) It looks like Rex Stout had a "thing" for semicolons
                at around 1960, considering Wolfe stories appeared from the 1930s
                through 1970s, but out of the 5 occurences of the semicolon in the
                Corpus, four are from late 1950s / early 1960s Nero Wolfe stories. :-) ]



                --
                Yours,
                Alex.
                http://stout.avenarius.sk

                [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
              • missanneshirleyofgg
                Are you saying that Stout himself didn t care about spelling, punctuation, etc himself? I find that interesting as a mild MBTI enthusiast. I had assumed that
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Are you saying that Stout himself didn't care about spelling,
                  punctuation, etc himself?

                  I find that interesting as a mild MBTI enthusiast. I had assumed that
                  Wolfe is an INTJ (like Holmes), but, I also thought Stout would be one
                  as well considering his childhood which in terms of ability to read
                  seemed like he was a prodigy.

                  I still do not doubt Wolfe was an INTJ.

                  I am not sure about Archie. Or now Stout. An artisan would make a
                  great detective (Panzer has to be an ISTP), but, I would think the
                  mundane aspects of working as Wolfe's secretary as well would be
                  tedious on an artisan. I took this as an explanation for why Panzer
                  did not want Archie's job. My guess would be ENTP or ENFP for Archie.
                  ENFP's are very observant and miss little details in character
                  studies. However, again, they detest mundane but would tolerate it
                  more than the artisan personality type.

                  MBTI is a mild hobby of mine, I am an INFJ. I do not care a lick about
                  grammar, spelling, or punctuation- like most idealists- I am more
                  interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How
                  they are composed means little to me.

                  INTJ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ

                  Lizzie



                  --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, a@... wrote:
                  >
                  > On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 04:12:49 (GMT), al_cyone wrote:
                  >
                  > > I find it hard to believe [my uncle] ever read a novel in his life,
                  > > so either he heard it somewhere else or there was a side to him
                  > > that was unknown to the rest of us.
                  >
                  >
                  > Since the quotation comes from _The League of Frightened Men_,
                  > and this novel, as one of only 2 Nero Wolfe stories, also received a
                  film
                  > adaptation (very early on, in 1937):
                  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029127/
                  > ... perhaps your uncle heard the phrase in the movie version (if
                  it's included)?
                  >
                  >
                  > > I can't say I'll turn into a Wolfe-hound (a Stout fellow?),
                  > > but your message has certainly piqued my curiosity.
                  >
                  >
                  > If you're considering reading your very first Nero Wolfe volume
                  > and the mystery angle is important to you (you're primarily a mystery
                  > buff), I'd suggest for you to start with _The Silent Speaker_ (1946).
                  > If you simply like good literature and the whodunnit aspect is not so
                  > important, I'd suggest to start with the very first Nero Wolfe novel,
                  > _Fer-de-Lance_ (1934).
                  >
                  > Among other Wolfe volumes I consider to be masterpieces are, in the
                  > order of preference: _In the Best Families_ (1950), _Too Many Cooks_
                  (1938),
                  > _Over My Dead Body_ (1940), _Plot It Yourself_ a.k.a. _Murder in
                  Style_ (1959),
                  > _Death of a Doxy_ (1966), and _The Doorbell Rang_ (1965).
                  >
                  > For the best Nero Wolfe short story, I'd go to 'Frame-Up for Murder'
                  > (1958) from the post-humous volume _Death Times Three_ [1985].
                  >
                  > From among the others, many Nero Wolfe novels and especially short
                  stories
                  > ("novelettes") seem dull and forgettable. From among the novels, I found
                  > _Where There's a Will_ (1940), _The Second Confession_ (1949),
                  _Champagne
                  > for One_ (1958), and _The Final Deduction_ (1961) particularly bad
                  > or uninteresting. I'm afraid Rex Stout's prodigious output is primarily
                  > responsible for him being generally not very much appreciated by
                  mainstream
                  > literary criticism. If Rex Stout's art were only to be judged by his
                  > finest achievements, such as those listed in the foregoing two
                  > paragraphs, I'm sure he would long have been recognized as one
                  > of the masters of American comic and/or mystery literature,
                  > on a par with Mark Twain and/or Raymond Chandler.
                  >
                  >
                  > > As for "can not", that's actually my preferred spelling when I want
                  > > to emphasize the "not". Otherwise I'll usually use "can't". "Cannot"
                  > > just LOOKS wrong to me.
                  >
                  >
                  > I know where you're coming from: http://alexfiles.com/cannot.shtml
                  >
                  > In my college (that prefers British English, being located in Europe),
                  > using "can not" was a big no-no. Those of my English language manuals
                  > that are published in Britain are quite unequivocal in saying that
                  > "can not" must not be used. (There you have the absurdity: "cannot"
                  > and "must not" are considered correct, while "can not" and "mustnot"
                  > are deemed incorrect -- for no apparent reason.) For the British view,
                  > see, for instance, _Longman Guide to English Usage_ by Sidney Greenbaum
                  > et al. (1988), with a foreword by Randolph Quirk. Of course, there's
                  > no greater imaginable authority on (British) English than Quirk
                  > & Greenbaum. American usage manuals tend to blur the distinctions
                  > (and a similar trend led Wolfe to burn Merriam _Webster's Third New
                  > International Dictionary_ in Chapter 1 of _Gambit_). As to frequency,
                  > "can not" has 77 million hits in Google, while "cannot" has half
                  > a billion. Seeing as Wolfe (originally himself European) frequently
                  > prefers the British conventions over the American ones (see his
                  > contempt for "I will" as opposed to "I shall", or solving crosswords
                  > in the London rather than the New York Times), it's probable
                  > he would just grunt and growl if he ever came across
                  > "can not" in one of Archie's narratives. ;-)
                  >
                  >
                  > > In this regard I recently discovered Paul Brian's "Common Errors
                  > > in English Usage". From what I've read so far it seems to strike
                  > > just the right balance between persnickityness and anarchy.
                  >
                  > > http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/
                  >
                  >
                  > Right. And although Paul Brian, too, in the American style, blurs
                  > the distinction between "cannot" and "can not", he seems to prefer
                  > "cannot" for standard usage, unless the writer has a valid reason
                  > to opt otherwise: http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/cannot.html
                  >
                  >
                  > > I also appreciate your (Archie's? Nero's? Rex's?) regard for
                  punctuation.
                  >
                  >
                  > I suppose me and Wolfe have a regard for punctuation, while with
                  > Rex Stout and Archie, one should rather probably speak about their
                  > *disregard* for punctuation. :-D In some volumes, Wolfe is reproduced
                  > dictating letters to Archie, distinctly enunciating each punctuation
                  mark,
                  > such as the semicolon that makes its appearance 5 times in the Corpus
                  > (though the manner in which this is reported by Archie changes from
                  > volume to volume):
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > * Wolfe turned to me. "Archie, take this down and type it. One carbon.
                  > 'I hereby affirm that in any negotiations I may undertake regarding
                  > the will of Noel Hawthorne, deceased, I shall consider Mrs. Noel
                  > Hawthorne as one of my clients and shall in good faith safeguard
                  > her interests, and shall notify her in advance of any change in my
                  > commitments, semicolon, it being understood that a bill for her
                  > share of my fee shall be paid by her. A line for a witness.'"
                  >
                  > _Where There's a Will_ (1940), chapter 2
                  >
                  > [Right here, we have another piece of evidence for Archie Goodwin's /
                  > Rex Stout's sloppy pronunciation: the closing single quotation mark
                  > should have preceded, not followed, the final sentence, "A line for
                  > a witness.", since that's the same sort of sentence as "One carbon."
                  > preceding the internal quotation. At least that's how the erroneous
                  > closing single quotation mark appears in my paperbound copy
                  > of WTAW, Bantam Books 1992.]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > * He turned. "Archie. Can we get an advertisement in the evening
                  > papers? [...] It must be conspicuous. Two columns wide, or three.
                  > Headed in thirty-six-point, boldface, extended, 'To Mr Knapp.'
                  > Then in twelve-point: 'The woman whose property is in your
                  > possession has engaged my services (period). She is now in my office
                  > (period). [...] If her property is not returned to her (comma),
                  > or if it is damaged beyond repair (comma), I have engaged to
                  > devote my time (comma), energy (comma), and talent (comma),
                  > for as long as may be required (comma), to ensure just and
                  > fitting requital (semicolon); and she has determined to support me
                  > to the full extent of her resources (period). If you do not know
                  > enough of me to be aware of the significance of this engagement
                  > to your future (comma), I advise you to inform yourself regarding
                  > my competence and my tenacity (period).' Beneath, in fourteen-point
                  > boldface, 'Nero Wolfe.' To be billed to me. Can you do it by phone?"
                  >
                  > _The Final Deduction_ (1961), chapter 1
                  >
                  > [Here, we find another point of dispute between American and
                  > British/European usage. Logically, the final closing single quotation
                  > mark should precede the period, rather than follow it, as what is to
                  > appear in fourteen-point boldface in the advertisement is the name
                  > "Nero Wolfe", without the period. American usage frequently blurs
                  > the distinction, putting the quotation mark after the period, comma,
                  > etc., regardless of whether the punctuation mark is part of the
                  > quotation or not.]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > * Wolfe turned. "Archie, the typewriter. Two carbons. [...]
                  Single-spaced,
                  > wide margins. The date. On behalf of my corporation, Continental Plastic
                  > Products, I hereby engage Nero Wolfe to investigate the circumstances
                  > of the death of [spoiler]. It is understood that Wolfe will make every
                  > effort to protect the reputation and interests of the corporation,
                  comma,
                  > and will disclose no facts or information that will harm the
                  corporation's
                  > repute or prestige, comma, unless he is compelled to do so by his legal
                  > obligation as a citizen and a licensed private detective, semicolon;
                  > and if he fails to observe this provision he is to receive no pay
                  > for his services or reimbursement for his expenses. [...]"
                  >
                  > _Too Many Clients_ (1960), chapter 7
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > * "Your notebook, please." I sat and got my notebook and pen.
                  >
                  > "There will be two," he said, "one for you and one for me. First mine.
                  > Heading in caps, affidavit by Nero Wolfe. The usual State of New York,
                  > County of New York. The text: I hereby depose that the twelve foregoing
                  > typewritten pages attached hereto, comma, each page initialed by me,
                  > comma, are a full and accurate record of a conversation that took place
                  > in my office on October thirteenth, nineteen sixty-one, by Susan McLeod,
                  > comma, Archie Goodwin, comma, and myself, semicolon; that nothing
                  > of consequence has been omitted or added in this typewritten record,
                  > semicolon; and that the conversation was wholly impromptu, comma, with
                  > no prior preparation or arrangement. A space for my signature, and
                  below,
                  > the conventional formula for notarizing. The one for you, on the same
                  > sheet if there is room, will be the same with the appropriate changes."
                  >
                  > 'Murder Is Corny' (1962), chapter 4 (from _Trio for Blunt
                  Instruments_, 1964)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > * "Pfui. That was conversation. This is work. There are other
                  similarities,
                  > equally remarkable, in these stories. Two of them are verbal. [...]"
                  >
                  > "I'm sold," I averred. "Coincidence is out."
                  >
                  > "But there are two others. One is punctuation. They are all fond of
                  semicolons
                  > and use them where most people would prefer a comma or a dash."
                  >
                  > _Plot It Yourself_ a.k.a. _Murder in Style_ (1959), chapter 3
                  >
                  > [Not related to dictation but, of course, no other character except
                  > Nero Wolfe would explicitly refer to semicolons in a murder mystery
                  > novel. ;-) It looks like Rex Stout had a "thing" for semicolons
                  > at around 1960, considering Wolfe stories appeared from the 1930s
                  > through 1970s, but out of the 5 occurences of the semicolon in the
                  > Corpus, four are from late 1950s / early 1960s Nero Wolfe stories. :-) ]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > Yours,
                  > Alex.
                  > http://stout.avenarius.sk
                  >
                  > [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                  >
                • scooter5203249
                  ... 3 omniscience ... Make that four omniscience please :-) In Prisoners Base, chapter 4, after a regrettable occurrence, Wolfe says to Archie: No man
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >
                    > A scholarly query deserves a scholarly reply!
                    >
                    > Our omniscience nominees are... (and there are no more than
                    3 "omniscience"
                    > nominees in the entire Corpus):


                    Make that four "omniscience" please :-)

                    In Prisoners Base, chapter 4, after a regrettable occurrence, Wolfe
                    says to Archie: "No man can hold himself accountable for the results
                    of his psychological defects, especially those he shares with all his
                    fellow men, such as lack of omniscience. It is a vulgar fallacy that
                    what you don't know can't hurt you; but it is true that what you
                    don't know can't convict you." [note the semi-colon ;-> ]

                    In chapter 13 , after another regrettable occurrence, Wolfe brings up
                    omniscience again: "I said it is vainglorious to reproach yourself
                    for lack of omniscience. That is also true of omnipotence."

                    Prisoners Base was adapted by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin for
                    Season One of "A Nero Wolfe Mystery", A&E, 2001, and both instances
                    of "omniscience" can be found in the Goldberg/Rabkin adaptation
                    http://www.leegoldberg.com/scripts.html Unfortunately only the
                    second mention of "omniscience" made it to the screen in the A&E
                    broadcast, and the effect was somewhat dulled without the first
                    mention. However, if you are fortunate enough to have seen the
                    European broadcast, you heard both remarks on "omniscience" with the
                    effect that Stout intended.
                  • al_cyone
                    ... most idealists - I am more interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How they are composed means little to me.
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, "missanneshirleyofgg"
                      <missanneshirley@...> wrote:

                      >>I do not care a lick about grammar, spelling, or punctuation - like
                      most idealists - I am more interested in that the thought behind the
                      words be understood. How they are composed means little to me.<<

                      That would be fine if you were only communicating with yourself. But
                      how can others understand the thoughts behind your words if your words
                      are mis-spelled and your grammar and punctuation are non-standard
                      (which, I notice, they're not).

                      But perhaps I'm missing the point. If you could provide a brief
                      example of mis-spelled, ungrammatical, badly punctuated text, I'll see
                      if I can understand the thought behind the words. Because that's what
                      I'm interested in too.
                    • a@avenarius.sk
                      ... I m sure he didn t care about the *formal* punctuaction rules; there s ample evidence for that in the Corpus and outside it, too. One of the Rex Stout
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 6, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:05:08 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg wrote:

                        > Are you saying that Stout himself didn't care about spelling, punctuation, etc himself?


                        I'm sure he didn't care about the *formal* punctuaction rules;
                        there's ample evidence for that in the Corpus and outside it, too.
                        One of the "Rex Stout Library" Bantam Books paperbacks includes
                        an attachment: a photocopy of Rex Stout's letter to one of his
                        editors, in which he berates the editor in Wolfean condemnatory
                        terms for daring to correct Archie's punctuation. ;-)

                        So, I think Stout cared about punctuation a *lot*; he liked to juggle
                        with it as a writer's tool to express whatever he wanted to express.
                        Archie Goodwin is a fast-moving type of person, so there are fewer
                        punctuation marks in his prose than would be strictly necessary
                        according to formal punctuation rules. After all, every punctuation
                        mark *slows down* the "speed/tempo" of any sentence in which
                        it is included. :-)


                        > I find that interesting as a mild MBTI enthusiast. I had assumed that
                        > Wolfe is an INTJ (like Holmes), but, I also thought Stout would be one
                        > as well considering his childhood which in terms of ability to read
                        > seemed like he was a prodigy.

                        > I still do not doubt Wolfe was an INTJ. [...]
                        > INTJ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ


                        Seeing as people with hyper-inflated egos, such as Friedrich Nietzsche,
                        Vladimir Putin, and Vaclav Klaus, are on the INTJ list, there's no
                        doubt in my mind, either, that Nero Wolfe is also INTJ. Someone should
                        go ahead and add Nero Wolfe to the "Fictional" category on Wikipedia's
                        INTJ webpage. :-)


                        > My guess would be ENTP or ENFP for Archie.


                        Wolfe and Archie are meant to be the opposite types of personalities.
                        However, I agree with you that "N" (not "S") is correct for Archie,
                        just as it is for Wolfe. If anyone doubts that, let them re-read
                        _A Family Affair_. :-) "N" is probably a pre-requisite for any
                        armchair detective or his/her secretary! ;-)

                        Also, there is no doubt that "E" is correct for Archie as the first
                        letter, and "P" as the final letter: *this* is what makes Archie
                        the opposite type compared to Wolfe, and which gives so much
                        "juice" to Archie's interactions and altercations with Wolfe
                        throughout the 74 stories in the Corpus.

                        As to the third letter, I'm not sure, either, whether "T" or "F"
                        is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/24uuxl


                        > MBTI is a mild hobby of mine, I am an INFJ. I do not care a lick about
                        > grammar, spelling, or punctuation- like most idealists- I am more
                        > interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How
                        > they are composed means little to me.


                        One can see that! ;-) A dash must either be both preceded and
                        followed by a space, or both preceded and followed by a letter.
                        (It should also be about twice as long as a hyphen.) But to precede
                        a dash with a letter and follow it with a space, as you've just done
                        twice above, is... well, insupportable! ;-))))) (But those are my
                        own INTJ tendencies getting the better of me.) :-D


                        On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:18:28 (GMT), scooter5203249 wrote:

                        >> A scholarly query deserves a scholarly reply! [...] (there are
                        >> no more than 3 "omniscience" [occurrences] in the entire Corpus):

                        > Make that four "omniscience" please :-)


                        Scholars make mistakes! :-) Thanks a lot for the corrections, Scooter.
                        So, there are actually 5 "omniscience" occurrences in the Corpus, as
                        there are the 2 separate ones in _Prisoner's Base_ (chapters 4 & 13)
                        that you sent. I've investigated the reason for the error and found it
                        was caused by the apostrophe in the title of the novel, _Prisoner's Base_,
                        which prevented the computer from accessing the file when I searched
                        the Corpus for "omniscience" occurrences. The same also happened to
                        the novelette 'This Won't Kill You'. I've now removed the apostrophes
                        from the file names, so future word searches of the Corpus should be
                        accurate. However, I should reorganize the Corpus better, as for some
                        reason, it is currently parsed in 72 files. More properly, it should
                        be 74 files, as there are 74 Nero Wolfe novels and short stories
                        in total (originally published in 47 volumes):
                        http://corpus.avenarius.sk

                        Performing such word searches is a fascinating and necessary occupation
                        for any Rex Stout scholar. The results can be revealing or misleading.
                        For example, there's only 1 occurrence of a typical Wolfean adjective,
                        "vainglorious", in the entire Corpus (in _Prisoner's Base_ -- my test
                        to determine whether that novel is now included in word searches).
                        A typical Wolfean noun, "vanity", is present in 20 out of the 72
                        files. And a typical Wolfean and Goodwinean noun/verb, "hunch"
                        (returning to the "N" designation for both Wolfe and Archie
                        in the typology above), is present in 43 out of the 72 files. :-)

                        --
                        Yours,
                        Alex.
                        http://stout.avenarius.sk

                        [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                      • E.J. Ford
                        One thing that has often struck me about Wolfe s dialog is the fact that he often ends sentences with prepositions. Now, I realize that the once hard-and-fast
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment

                          One thing that has often struck me about Wolfe’s dialog is the fact that he often ends sentences with prepositions.  Now, I realize that the once hard-and-fast rule against doing that has been abrogated, but it still jars me occasionally to read a man of such precise speech ending a sentence with “at,” “on,” or “to”. 

                           

                          It was Winston Churchill, I believe, who decried the injunction against prepositions at the end of sentences, saying that “it was a form of pedantry up with which we shall not put.”  Hilarious!

                           

                          In my own stunted grammarian mind, I like to think that this is one of the few instances of Archie’s phenomenal memory failing him and that Wolfe didn’t commit this rather pedestrian error…

                           

                          EJ “Where’s the library at?” Ford

                           

                          From: nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of a@...
                          Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 1:32 AM
                          To: Wolfenistas
                          Subject: Re: [NeroWolfe] "the burdens of omniscience"

                           

                          On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:05:08 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg wrote:

                          > Are you saying that Stout himself didn't care about spelling, punctuation,
                          etc himself?

                          I'm sure he didn't care about the *formal* punctuaction rules;
                          there's ample evidence for that in the Corpus and outside it, too.
                          One of the "Rex Stout Library" Bantam Books paperbacks includes
                          an attachment: a photocopy of Rex Stout's letter to one of his
                          editors, in which he berates the editor in Wolfean condemnatory
                          terms for daring to correct Archie's punctuation. ;-)

                          So, I think Stout cared about punctuation a *lot*; he liked to juggle
                          with it as a writer's tool to express whatever he wanted to express.
                          Archie Goodwin is a fast-moving type of person, so there are fewer
                          punctuation marks in his prose than would be strictly necessary
                          according to formal punctuation rules. After all, every punctuation
                          mark *slows down* the "speed/tempo" of any sentence in which
                          it is included. :-)

                          > I find that interesting as a mild MBTI enthusiast. I had assumed that
                          > Wolfe is an INTJ (like Holmes), but, I also thought Stout would be one
                          > as well considering his childhood which in terms of ability to read
                          > seemed like he was a prodigy.

                          > I still do not doubt Wolfe was an INTJ. [...]
                          > INTJ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ

                          Seeing as people with hyper-inflated egos, such as Friedrich Nietzsche,
                          Vladimir Putin, and Vaclav Klaus, are on the INTJ list, there's no
                          doubt in my mind, either, that Nero Wolfe is also INTJ. Someone should
                          go ahead and add Nero Wolfe to the "Fictional" category on Wikipedia's
                          INTJ webpage. :-)

                          > My guess would be ENTP or ENFP for Archie.

                          Wolfe and Archie are meant to be the opposite types of personalities.
                          However, I agree with you that "N" (not "S") is correct for Archie,
                          just as it is for Wolfe. If anyone doubts that, let them re-read
                          _A Family Affair_. :-) "N" is probably a pre-requisite for any
                          armchair detective or his/her secretary! ;-)

                          Also, there is no doubt that "E" is correct for Archie as the first
                          letter, and "P" as the final letter: *this* is what makes Archie
                          the opposite type compared to Wolfe, and which gives so much
                          "juice" to Archie's interactions and altercations with Wolfe
                          throughout the 74 stories in the Corpus.

                          As to the third letter, I'm not sure, either, whether "T" or "F"
                          is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/24uuxl

                          > MBTI is a mild hobby of mine, I am an INFJ. I do not care a lick about
                          > grammar, spelling, or punctuation- like most idealists- I am more
                          > interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How
                          > they are composed means little to me.

                          One can see that! ;-) A dash must either be both preceded and
                          followed by a space, or both preceded and followed by a letter.
                          (It should also be about twice as long as a hyphen.) But to precede
                          a dash with a letter and follow it with a space, as you've just done
                          twice above, is... well, insupportable! ;-))))) (But those are my
                          own INTJ tendencies getting the better of me.) :-D

                          On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:18:28 (GMT), scooter5203249 wrote:

                          >> A scholarly query deserves a scholarly reply! [...] (there are
                          >> no more than 3 "omniscience" [occurrences] in the entire Corpus):

                          > Make that four "omniscience" please :-)

                          Scholars make mistakes! :-) Thanks a lot for the corrections, Scooter.
                          So, there are actually 5 "omniscience" occurrences in the Corpus, as
                          there are the 2 separate ones in _Prisoner's Base_ (chapters 4 & 13)
                          that you sent. I've investigated the reason for the error and found it
                          was caused by the apostrophe in the title of the novel, _Prisoner's Base_,
                          which prevented the computer from accessing the file when I searched
                          the Corpus for "omniscience" occurrences. The same also happened to
                          the novelette 'This Won't Kill You'. I've now removed the apostrophes
                          from the file names, so future word searches of the Corpus should be
                          accurate. However, I should reorganize the Corpus better, as for some
                          reason, it is currently parsed in 72 files. More properly, it should
                          be 74 files, as there are 74 Nero Wolfe novels and short stories
                          in total (originally published in 47 volumes):
                          http://corpus.avenarius.sk

                          Performing such word searches is a fascinating and necessary occupation
                          for any Rex Stout scholar. The results can be revealing or misleading.
                          For example, there's only 1 occurrence of a typical Wolfean adjective,
                          "vainglorious", in the entire Corpus (in _Prisoner's Base_ -- my test
                          to determine whether that novel is now included in word searches).
                          A typical Wolfean noun, "vanity", is present in 20 out of the 72
                          files. And a typical Wolfean and Goodwinean noun/verb, "hunch"
                          (returning to the "N" designation for both Wolfe and Archie
                          in the typology above), is present in 43 out of the 72 files. :-)

                          --
                          Yours,
                          Alex.
                          http://stout.avenarius.sk

                          [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]

                        • missanneshirleyofgg
                          ... I am glad we agree on that! I can t see Nero Wolfe as anything but an INTJ! ... I haven t clicked on this link yet, I have many entp and enfp friends and
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, a@... wrote:
                            >
                            > On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:05:08 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > > I still do not doubt Wolfe was an INTJ. [...]
                            > > INTJ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ
                            >
                            >
                            > Seeing as people with hyper-inflated egos, such as Friedrich Nietzsche,
                            > Vladimir Putin, and Vaclav Klaus, are on the INTJ list, there's no
                            > doubt in my mind, either, that Nero Wolfe is also INTJ. Someone should
                            > go ahead and add Nero Wolfe to the "Fictional" category on Wikipedia's
                            > INTJ webpage. :-)

                            I am glad we agree on that! I can't see Nero Wolfe as anything but an
                            INTJ!

                            >
                            >
                            > > My guess would be ENTP or ENFP for Archie.
                            >
                            >
                            > Wolfe and Archie are meant to be the opposite types of personalities.
                            > However, I agree with you that "N" (not "S") is correct for Archie,
                            > just as it is for Wolfe. If anyone doubts that, let them re-read
                            > _A Family Affair_. :-) "N" is probably a pre-requisite for any
                            > armchair detective or his/her secretary! ;-)
                            >
                            > Also, there is no doubt that "E" is correct for Archie as the first
                            > letter, and "P" as the final letter: *this* is what makes Archie
                            > the opposite type compared to Wolfe, and which gives so much
                            > "juice" to Archie's interactions and altercations with Wolfe
                            > throughout the 74 stories in the Corpus.
                            >
                            > As to the third letter, I'm not sure, either, whether "T" or "F"
                            > is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/24uuxl

                            I haven't clicked on this link yet, I have many entp and enfp friends
                            and was basing Archie's personality on what I know about them. I
                            really lean toward ENFP... however, among my real life ENTP friends, I
                            have noticed they can also appear "wounded" as Archie does when not
                            getting his way. Also, his manor of dress reminds me more of an ENFP,
                            and the general appeal to women.

                            If we could continue- Saul Panzer ISTP??? I think he would almost have
                            to be an artisan as it would explain why he has no desire to take
                            Archies's job.

                            Cramer ISTJ or ESTJ?


                            >
                            >
                            > > MBTI is a mild hobby of mine, I am an INFJ. I do not care a lick about
                            > > grammar, spelling, or punctuation- like most idealists- I am more
                            > > interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How
                            > > they are composed means little to me.
                            >
                            >
                            > One can see that! ;-) A dash must either be both preceded and
                            > followed by a space, or both preceded and followed by a letter.
                            > (It should also be about twice as long as a hyphen.) But to precede
                            > a dash with a letter and follow it with a space, as you've just done
                            > twice above, is... well, insupportable! ;-))))) (But those are my
                            > own INTJ tendencies getting the better of me.) :-D

                            My husband is an INTP. His first email to me (we met online) looked
                            like this:

                            "when you say you liked nightmare of the sullen moon did you mean the
                            childrens book or the song... i like the song".

                            I instantly thought he had to be a moron. However, his ad on match.com
                            had been very intelligent- a little quirky, but I liked that. I
                            decided to keep writing to him and see what he was, even though I was
                            internally cringing and it takes some pretty horrific grammar and
                            punctuation to make me cringe!

                            It turned out that he is 6'4 and his hand span overshot his laptop
                            keyboard. To this add that he is a "p" and isn't overly concerned with
                            punctuation or spelling. He ever has his spell check off!!!

                            My grammar and punctuation are oodles better than his, but still no
                            doubt a similar strain on your eyes.

                            Lizzie
                          • a@avenarius.sk
                            ... Well, exactly! I wouldn t put Nero Wolfe below or above Winston Churchill -- they loom equally large to my eyes. ;-) If Churchill was wise enough to
                            Message 13 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On Friday, March 2008 at 07:32:59 (GMT -0500), E.J. Ford wrote:

                              > It was Winston Churchill, I believe, who decried the injunction against
                              > prepositions at the end of sentences, saying that "it was a form of pedantry
                              > up with which we shall not put." Hilarious!


                              Well, exactly! I wouldn't put Nero Wolfe below or above Winston Churchill --
                              they loom equally large to my eyes. ;-) If Churchill was wise enough
                              to ignore the pedantic rule, so was Nero Wolfe. I see no contradiction
                              there, and I don't think Archie reported Wolfe's sentences unfaithfully
                              as far as this is concerned. :-)


                              > In my own stunted grammarian mind, I like to think that this is
                              > one of the few instances of Archie's phenomenal memory failing
                              > him and that Wolfe didn't commit this rather pedestrian error.


                              Here's where we disagree. :-) I wouldn't call it an "error", unlike
                              "can not", which I tend to view as an error. Believe it or not, I'm
                              currently translating and revising a German and English text for
                              official publication, and in the English translation -- not done
                              by me, only revised -- "can not" originally occurred, but I revised
                              it to say "cannot", as I just couldn't bear to look at "can not"
                              in a text officially revised by me, just as Wolfe couldn't tolerate
                              "contact" under his roof. ;-) (By the way, he infected me and
                              I always try to rephrase that sort of sentences to say, "get in
                              touch with us", "approach us", etc.) :-D

                              In contast, I'd never presume to revise a sentence only because
                              it ended with a preposition. Even the most conservative of dogmatic
                              grammarians, the beloved (at least by me -- feared by others ;-) )
                              Fowler brothers admit it's no hard-and-fast rule never to end
                              sentences with prepositions. It's more of a stylistic preference
                              in certain (perhaps most) contexts, but that's all. I don't recall
                              what, if anything, is said in this regard by the Fowler brothers'
                              American counterparts, Strunk & White, but I'd be very much
                              surprised if they automatically classified all sentences
                              ending with prepositions as erroneous.

                              --
                              Yours,
                              Alex.
                              http://stout.avenarius.sk

                              [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                            • a@avenarius.sk
                              ... Those are intriguing questions and I ll certainly think about them as soon as I have more time to concentrate properly! :-) The most fascinating task
                              Message 14 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On Friday, 7th March 2008 at 12:56:34 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg wrote:

                                > If we could continue- Saul Panzer ISTP??? I think he would almost have
                                > to be an artisan as it would explain why he has no desire to take
                                > Archies's job.

                                > Cramer ISTJ or ESTJ?


                                Those are intriguing questions and I'll certainly think about them
                                as soon as I have more time to concentrate properly! :-)

                                The most fascinating task could be to classify... Rex Stout himself.

                                One of the definitions of a genius probably is that he or she is
                                a person who *unites seemingly irreconcilable contradictions*
                                in his or her own person (psyche and mind).

                                Rex Stout was indubitably one such genius. The explanation for why
                                he was capable of portraying the two vastly different characters,
                                Wolfe and Archie (they are pretty much the antithesis of one another),
                                so convincingly, is that Rex Stout was *both of them at the same time*.
                                Stout was both Wolfe and Archie, so it was "easy" for him to view
                                the world from both Wolfe's and Archie's perspective, and spend four
                                decades writing these wonderful stories revolving around the clash
                                of the two contradictory perspectives.

                                Still, and even in a genius, *one aspect* of a person's character usually
                                dominates over the others, so it might be interesting to find out
                                whether Rex Stout as a private person was INTJ, just as Nero Wolfe,
                                or whether he was more of an ENFP/ENTP person, just as Archie Goodwin.

                                The person best qualified to answer the question would be (obviously!)
                                Rex Stout's wife, Pola Stout. Unfortunately, she is not available.
                                But Rex Stout's daughters are still alive, I understand! They might
                                shed some light on the issue of whether Rex Stout was more
                                INTJ or ENFP/ENTP. ;-)

                                (Not that this has any bearing on the merits of Rex Stout's literary
                                works. Those merits and demerits will remain the same disregarding
                                Rex Stout's personal characteristics; but it's an interesting
                                question to ponder for Rex Stout fans.)


                                > My husband is an INTP.


                                Congratulations. You said earlier about yourself you were INFJ,
                                and since opposites attract, your partnership with an INTP might
                                turn out to be as long-lasting as that between Archie and Wolfe! :-)


                                > He ever has his spell check off!!!

                                > My grammar and punctuation are oodles better than his,
                                > but still no doubt a similar strain on your eyes.


                                Not at all. I hate pedantism just as Wolfe did. (I mean, Churchill!
                                See? I keep confusing the two. ;-) ) Besides, these are emails --
                                just an informal chat medium. I purposefully have the spell-check switched
                                off in my email software (as opposed to the text processor with which
                                I earn my living). I'd like to take credit for these emails, in the sense
                                that if they are error-free, it's because I know how to spell, and not
                                because I had an electronic task master watching over my shoulder. :-)
                                And so, I do commit spelling mistakes in my emails, and that's
                                perfectly fine. (In one of my foregoing messages, I retrospectively
                                noticed a delightful typo of mine: "punctuaction" >> it shows I was
                                about to refer to Archie as a "man of action" in the following
                                paragraph, and so the touch-typing fingers got ahead of the
                                brain -- or vice versa, I'm not sure -- resulting in the typo. :-D

                                --
                                Yours,
                                Alex.
                                http://stout.avenarius.sk

                                [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                              • missanneshirleyofgg
                                ... You haven t read many of my posts if you think my grammar and punctuation are standard! However, no one has ever told me that they couldn t understand my
                                Message 15 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, al_cyone <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, "missanneshirleyofgg"
                                  > <missanneshirley@> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >>I do not care a lick about grammar, spelling, or punctuation - like
                                  > most idealists - I am more interested in that the thought behind the
                                  > words be understood. How they are composed means little to me.<<
                                  >
                                  > That would be fine if you were only communicating with yourself. But
                                  > how can others understand the thoughts behind your words if your words
                                  > are mis-spelled and your grammar and punctuation are non-standard
                                  > (which, I notice, they're not).

                                  You haven't read many of my posts if you think my grammar and
                                  punctuation are standard!

                                  However, no one has ever told me that they couldn't understand my meaning.

                                  I do have a pet peeve myself though- and thats the "net people" to
                                  write like this:

                                  " wtf...u no what i mean... or u wouldnt b able to say so"

                                  I HATE THAT.

                                  I am more "Archie-like". My meaning is understood, but those with an
                                  advanced education in grammar and punctuation may sometimes shake a
                                  mental finger at me. Wolfe would, I am sure.

                                  Lizzie
                                • missanneshirleyofgg
                                  ... meaning. ... There is an example for you- I wrote to instead of who . I can t even tell you why I would have done this, and I proof read before pressing
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, "missanneshirleyofgg"
                                    <missanneshirley@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, al_cyone <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, "missanneshirleyofgg"
                                    > > <missanneshirley@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > >>I do not care a lick about grammar, spelling, or punctuation - like
                                    > > most idealists - I am more interested in that the thought behind the
                                    > > words be understood. How they are composed means little to me.<<
                                    > >
                                    > > That would be fine if you were only communicating with yourself. But
                                    > > how can others understand the thoughts behind your words if your words
                                    > > are mis-spelled and your grammar and punctuation are non-standard
                                    > > (which, I notice, they're not).
                                    >
                                    > You haven't read many of my posts if you think my grammar and
                                    > punctuation are standard!
                                    >
                                    > However, no one has ever told me that they couldn't understand my
                                    meaning.
                                    >
                                    > I do have a pet peeve myself though- and thats the "net people" to
                                    > write like this:
                                    >

                                    There is an example for you- I wrote "to" instead of "who".

                                    I can't even tell you why I would have done this, and I proof read
                                    before pressing send since I could tell it was important to you that I
                                    compose my reply thoughtfully. :-\

                                    Lizzie
                                  • Beulah Page
                                    Weighing in a bit late... a@avenarius.sk wrote: ... I am also an INFJ, but rather balanced between F and T . I ve always assumed that was related to being
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Weighing in a bit late...

                                      a@... wrote:
                                      On Thursday, 6th March 2008 at 23:05:08 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg wrote:

                                      >> My guess would be ENTP or ENFP for Archie.

                                      >Wolfe and Archie are meant to be the opposite types of personalities.
                                      >However, I agree with you that "N" (not "S") is correct for Archie,
                                      >just as it is for Wolfe. If anyone doubts that, let them re-read
                                      >_A Family Affair_. :-) "N" is probably a pre-requisite for any
                                      >armchair detective or his/her secretary! ;-)

                                      >Also, there is no doubt that "E" is correct for Archie as the first
                                      >letter, and "P" as the final letter: *this* is what makes Archie
                                      >the opposite type compared to Wolfe, and which gives so much
                                      >"juice" to Archie's interactions and altercations with Wolfe
                                      >throughout the 74 stories in the Corpus.

                                      >As to the third letter, I'm not sure, either,
                                      whether "T" or "F"
                                      >is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl. com/24uuxl

                                      >> MBTI is a mild hobby of mine, I am an INFJ. I do not care a lick about
                                      >> grammar, spelling, or punctuation- like most idealists- I am more
                                      >> interested in that the thought behind the words be understood. How
                                      >> they are composed means little to me.

                                      >One can see that! ;-) A dash must either be both preceded and
                                      >followed by a space, or both preceded and followed by a letter.
                                      >(It should also be about twice as long as a hyphen.) But to precede
                                      >a dash with a letter and follow it with a space, as you've just done
                                      >twice above, is... well, insupportable! ;-))))) (But those are my
                                      >own INTJ tendencies getting the better of me.) :-D
                                       
                                       
                                      I am also an INFJ, but rather balanced between "F" and "T". I've always assumed that was related to being ambidextrous - using both sides of my brain and not relying more heavily on one or the other. I suppose the "T" tendencies are reflected in my fondness for punctuation.
                                       
                                      I don't recall which hand Archie favors, but perhaps he also has ambidextrous tendencies? It would explain why that trait is harder to pinpoint.
                                       
                                      Beulah Page


                                      Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it now.
                                    • trekerr
                                      ... As to the third letter, I m not sure, either, whether T or F is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/24uuxl I would guess
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, a@... wrote:


                                        "As to the third letter, I'm not sure, either, whether "T" or "F"
                                        is correct for Archie. Decide for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/24uuxl"


                                        I would guess Archie is probably balanced between T & F. I am usually
                                        a ESTJ, but sometimes my T becomes an F because I test out about 50/50
                                        for this letter. Maybe circumstances bring out one letter or the other.

                                        Crystal
                                      • a@avenarius.sk
                                        ... I think it s impossible to be INTJ without being an egotist. So, if you can, just possibly, say about someone: He s/She s such a selfish pig! He/She only
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          On Friday, 7th March 2008 at 06:58:42 (GMT -0800 PST), Beulah Page wrote:

                                          > I am also an INFJ, but rather balanced between "F" and "T". I've
                                          > always assumed that was related to being ambidextrous - using both
                                          > sides of my brain and not relying more heavily on one or the other.
                                          > I suppose the "T" tendencies are reflected in my fondness for punctuation.

                                          > I don't recall which hand Archie favors, but perhaps he also has
                                          > ambidextrous tendencies? It would explain why that trait is harder to pinpoint.


                                          I think it's impossible to be INTJ without being an egotist. So, if you can,
                                          just possibly, say about someone: "He's/She's such a selfish pig! He/She
                                          only thinks about himself, his/her own needs"... *that* would qualify
                                          the person to be classified as INTJ. :-)

                                          Is Archie Goodwin an egotist? That's difficult to tell! (Over on the "other"
                                          Wolfe list a few days ago, they talked about Archie possibly being a miser,
                                          due to supposedly not giving generous tips to the people in lower social
                                          positions with whom he frequently interacts.) [I've just re-written that
                                          sentence from "... that he frequently interacts with." :-D ]

                                          So, while it's obvious that Nero Wolfe is INTJ, it's truly difficult
                                          to determine whether Archie Goodwin is ENTP or ENFP.

                                          As to the differences between the T and F approach, these are displayed
                                          clearly and nicely in the famous (to Wolfe fans, anyway) closing lines
                                          of the very first Nero Wolfe novel, _Fer-de-Lance_ (1934):

                                          http://avenarius.sk/stout/ferdelance.htm#115

                                          [obviously, that's at least a half-way SPOILER, although the name
                                          of the murderer/murderess has been obfuscated]

                                          Here, we can see Nero Wolfe's T approach in full swing. Are Archie's
                                          objections enough to warrant an F for him? After all, he submits
                                          to Wolfe's instructions, not only here in _Fer-de-Lance_ but also,
                                          despite delightful protestations, pretty much in all the subsequent
                                          73 stories still to follow.

                                          --
                                          Yours,
                                          Alex.
                                          http://stout.avenarius.sk

                                          [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                                        • Taylor401306@cs.com
                                          In a message dated 03/07/2008 10:07:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I do too. I also dislike it when people keep misspelling words such as Rouge for ROGUE.
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            In a message dated 03/07/2008 10:07:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com writes:
                                            I do have a pet peeve myself though- and thats the "net people" to
                                            write like this:

                                            " wtf...u no what i mean... or u wouldnt b able to say so"

                                            I HATE THAT.

                                            I do too. I also dislike  it when people keep misspelling words such as Rouge for ROGUE.                                                                                                           
                                            I hate when that happes
                                            Posted by: "robert-blau@..." robert-blau@... rb2717
                                            Date: Wed Mar 5, 2008 8:33 pm ((PST))

                                            Smallville THURSDAY CW 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM RATED:
                                            TV-PG-VLD Network Series. Persona. Bizarro poses as Clark,
                                            who is frozen in the fortress; unaware that he is Bizarro, Lana shares
                                            information with him about a serial killer, who they suspect is
                                            Brainiac.(CC)

                                            That should be :Smallville THURSDAY CW 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM RATED:
                                            TV-PG-VLD Network Series. Persona. Bizarro poses as Clark,
                                            who is frozen in the fortress. Unaware that he is Bizarro, Lana shares
                                            information with him about a serial killer, who they suspect is
                                            Brainiac.(CC) See the difference a period &capitalization make to a sentence ?- Former school-teacher Jim 
                                          • missanneshirleyofgg
                                            ... punctuation. ... to pinpoint. ... you can, ... Thats hilarious. To the above poster that you were replying to, I am cross dominant which means while
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- In nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com, a@... wrote:
                                              >
                                              > On Friday, 7th March 2008 at 06:58:42 (GMT -0800 PST), Beulah Page
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > I am also an INFJ, but rather balanced between "F" and "T". I've
                                              > > always assumed that was related to being ambidextrous - using both
                                              > > sides of my brain and not relying more heavily on one or the other.
                                              > > I suppose the "T" tendencies are reflected in my fondness for
                                              punctuation.
                                              >
                                              > > I don't recall which hand Archie favors, but perhaps he also has
                                              > > ambidextrous tendencies? It would explain why that trait is harder
                                              to pinpoint.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > I think it's impossible to be INTJ without being an egotist. So, if
                                              you can,
                                              > just possibly, say about someone: "He's/She's such a selfish pig! He/She
                                              > only thinks about himself, his/her own needs"... *that* would qualify
                                              > the person to be classified as INTJ. :-)

                                              Thats hilarious.

                                              To the above poster that you were replying to, I am "cross dominant"
                                              which means while right handed I see predominantly with my left eye.
                                              This makes for excellent hand eye coordination. I can juggle well
                                              enough with practice to be a circus performer! Hmpfh. However, I am
                                              clearly an F, and do not think being ambidextrous would effect
                                              thinking verses feeling preferences. I owe my level headed tendencies
                                              to my istj mother.

                                              >
                                              > Is Archie Goodwin an egotist? That's difficult to tell! (Over on the
                                              "other"
                                              > Wolfe list a few days ago, they talked about Archie possibly being a
                                              miser,
                                              > due to supposedly not giving generous tips to the people in lower social
                                              > positions with whom he frequently interacts.) [I've just re-written that
                                              > sentence from "... that he frequently interacts with." :-D ]

                                              I don't think being an egotist is the primary sign of an ENTP- I think
                                              being an anarchist is. My ENTP friends will argue *just for the fun of
                                              it* and think provoking you into an argument when they in reality
                                              agree with you but just want to have a debate is their idea of
                                              entertainment. My ENTP friend says its not enough to hear what you
                                              *think*, he has to know that you arrived at that thought with research
                                              and consideration in order to respect your opinion, so he quizzes you!
                                              They completely shelve conventional thought- its so easy to spot an
                                              ENTP on a college campus! I love to see my ENTP best friend try to
                                              debate my INTP husband. One of them likes to rile for sport, and the
                                              other refuses to reveal their inner workings so he is never outwardly
                                              "riled".

                                              My primary vote for ENFP for Archie would be that he always accepts
                                              Nero Wolfe as being more intelligent than him and therefore correct
                                              ("you are the genius") without argument (although he does enjoy
                                              teasing him). After beginning this discussion, I went back to reading
                                              "The Silent Witness" as I do at bedtime, and found a quote that made
                                              me think of Archie as an ENFP (again), without spoiling anything,
                                              after the female Archie has put on a pedestal is killed, Fritz comes
                                              to him to tell him how bad he feels for him. Archie replies "Go to
                                              hell". Then, gets his bearings and says that he didn't mean Fritz
                                              personally. The "Go to hell" reminded me of a knee jerk introverted
                                              feeling response. Lashing out before processing the information on a
                                              more rational level. I know there other examples of Archie doing this
                                              same thing, and in the past I had interpreted them as being in jest.
                                              This passage made me wonder if he was perhaps a tad emotionally volatile.

                                              And isn't it just like an infj to make character studies based on the
                                              *people* I already know with those personality types? LOL

                                              But yes, those "objections" as you noted do not seem combative, as he
                                              does ultimately believe Wolfe's ideas are the ones to follow. Which
                                              seems more "f" to me.

                                              Other Wolfe list- do they ever engaged in mbti there? I hope I am not
                                              being redundant...

                                              Oh, speaking of Ni- I am so sure Phoebe Gunther is an INFJ. What a
                                              advocate for the under dog! Her sense of justice for Cheney's death
                                              was also very idealist. Perhaps thats why Wolfe respected her, since
                                              the Ni function would be kindred to his own inner workings.

                                              Lizzie
                                            • a@avenarius.sk
                                              ... Nope. At some moments, though, I m afraid they might collectively be characterized as ESTJ! :-P ... I don t think so. In my 10+ years of talking Wolfe
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                On Friday, 7th March 2008 at 17:47:07 (GMT), missanneshirleyofgg wrote:

                                                > Other Wolfe list- do they ever engaged in mbti there?

                                                Nope. At some moments, though, I'm afraid they might collectively be characterized as ESTJ! :-P

                                                > I hope I am not being redundant...

                                                I don't think so. In my 10+ years of talking Wolfe online, you're
                                                probably the first to bring up MBTI in connection to the Corpus.
                                                (Info on the other list: http://avenarius.sk/stout/index.htm#ml )

                                                --
                                                Yours,
                                                Alex.
                                                http://stout.avenarius.sk

                                                [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                                              • Beulah Page
                                                Taylor401306@cs.com wrote: In a message dated 03/07/2008 10:07:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, nerowolfe@yahoogroups.com writes: I
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Taylor401306@... wrote:
                                                  In a message dated 03/07/2008 10:07:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, nerowolfe@yahoogrou ps.com writes:
                                                  I do have a pet peeve myself though- and thats the "net people" to
                                                  write like this:

                                                  " wtf...u no what i mean... or u wouldnt b able to say so"

                                                  I HATE THAT.

                                                  I do too. I also dislike  it when people keep misspelling words such as Rouge for ROGUE.
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                  You'll enjoy this avatar I found and have been using on some forums, then...

                                                  Beulah


                                                  Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.

                                                • Terry Powell
                                                  I use very little shortcut text myself. I can hardly stand to use the old standard lol . I spell words out when I text message from my cellular telephone,
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Mar 7, 2008
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    I use very little shortcut text myself.  I can hardly stand to use the old standard "lol".  I spell words out when I text message from my cellular telephone, as well. 

                                                    Taylor401306@... wrote:
                                                    In a message dated 03/07/2008 10:07:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, nerowolfe@yahoogrou ps.com writes:
                                                    I do have a pet peeve myself though- and thats the "net people" to
                                                    write like this:

                                                    " wtf...u no what i mean... or u wouldnt b able to say so"

                                                    I HATE THAT.

                                                    I do too. I also dislike  it when people keep misspelling words such as Rouge for ROGUE.                                                                                                           
                                                    I hate when that happes
                                                    Posted by: "robert-blau@ webtv.net" robert-blau@ webtv.net rb2717
                                                    Date: Wed Mar 5, 2008 8:33 pm ((PST))

                                                    Smallville THURSDAY CW 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM RATED:
                                                    TV-PG-VLD Network Series. Persona. Bizarro poses as Clark,
                                                    who is frozen in the fortress; unaware that he is Bizarro, Lana shares
                                                    information with him about a serial killer, who they suspect is
                                                    Brainiac.(CC)

                                                    That should be :Smallville THURSDAY CW 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM RATED:
                                                    TV-PG-VLD Network Series. Persona. Bizarro poses as Clark,
                                                    who is frozen in the fortress. Unaware that he is Bizarro, Lana shares
                                                    information with him about a serial killer, who they suspect is
                                                    Brainiac.(CC) See the difference a period &capitalization make to a sentence ?- Former school-teacher Jim 


                                                    Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.

                                                  • a@avenarius.sk
                                                    ... Can you imagine Nero Wolfe analyzing an email message interspersed with lol ? LOL Oh! Sorry about that... It just escaped me somehow... What I wanted to
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Mar 8, 2008
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      On Friday, 7th March 2008 at 20:12:57 (GMT -0800 PST), Terry Powell wrote:

                                                      > I can hardly stand to use the old standard "lol".

                                                      Can you imagine Nero Wolfe analyzing an email message interspersed
                                                      with "lol"? LOL Oh! Sorry about that... It just escaped me somehow...
                                                      What I wanted to say is that some email software now automatically
                                                      replaces all occurrences of "LOL" with the appropriate smiley
                                                      emoticon, so that using "LOL" as I did prior to the word "Oh!"
                                                      in this paragraph might actually display a smiley for some
                                                      readers of this message. Here's what it looks like on my screen:

                                                      http://avenarius.sk/misc/lolling_all_the_way.jpg

                                                      It's hard to predict how many readers of this message would actually
                                                      get to read "LOL" prior to the word "Oh!" in this message, and for how
                                                      many of them the acronym would automatically get converted to the
                                                      appropriate smiley emoticon.

                                                      As to Nero Wolfe, he would probably abhor both acronyms of the "LOL"
                                                      and "ROFL" variety and their smiley emoticon equivalents, no matter
                                                      which of the two got displayed. ;-)

                                                      PS: When it comes to Nero Wolfe and smileys, I can't resist re-posting
                                                      what I sent to the Pfui Pfighters mailing list back on 17 April 2006:

                                                      "Could someone please draw a smiley for Wolfe? The closest I came across
                                                      thus far is this one: http://vdp.sk/forum/images/smiles/zele.gif
                                                      though it seems a bit too agile for a truly Wolfean smiley.
                                                      Perhaps there should be a Wolfean frowney or gruntey instead." LOL

                                                      --
                                                      SCNR,
                                                      Alex.
                                                      http://stout.avenarius.sk

                                                      [processed by "The Bat!", Version 3.80.06]
                                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.