AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: Character and characters
In Response To: Re: Character and characters ()
But, and there is usually a "but" with me, I think you'd agree that the dictionary is filled with cautionary and qualifying words that should--no, make this MUST--be used when dealing with the unknown and unknowable.
To use the example we have ping-ponged around in recent postings: there is no proof that black regulars used the term "buffalo soldier" prior to Reuben Waller's l929 letter. But there is also ample evidence in the period press, and in some private corresponmdence, of the use of "buffalo soldiers" that I agree it is fair to assume that black soldiers heard or read the term and most likely used it at times to describe themselves, their fellow soldiers, and the units in which they served. But note here the caution/qualifiers are "ample evidence", "fair to assume": and "most likely".
Keeping in this track, other caution/qualifier choices might be: "evidence suggests...", "based on current research and evidence
What, to me at least, is not acceptable is the constant repitition with great certainty and no use of qualifiers (and all too often no use of citations and references)of pronouncements such as these:
Bottom line: if something is known--state it with certainty and with full and proper references; if something is assumed, based on the best analysisof presently available information, then state this clearly--BUT always with the addition of the necessary and proper cautions and qualifiers.
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