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Well, that fills me with confidence as to your veracity...
blaisepascal
From the opening pages of a novel:
I do not say the story is true, for I did not witness the happenings which it portrays, but the fact that in the telling of it to you I have taken fictitious names for the principal characters quite sufficiently evidences the sincerity of my own belief that it MAY be true.



Let me get this straight... You (that is, the framing narrator, as the novel is told 3rd-person after the first 5 paragraphs) heard this tale, were presented with evidence of it's truth, and our evidence of your credulity is that you have changed the names deliberately so that we may not verify any of it ourself?

Humbug.

(So who amongst my loyal readers can identify the novel without resorting to Google?)

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No idea what the book is.

But I think you meant "our evidence of your credibility"

"credibility" is the quality or power of inspiring belief
"credulity" is readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence.

You would have to have a lot of credulity to credit this narrator's veracity.

"The fact that in telling of it to you I have taken fictitious names for the principle characters quite sufficiently evidences the sincerity of my own belief that it MAY be true."

Sounds like I meant that our evidence of his "readiness or willingness to believe" is his changing of the names.

He is submitting evidence of his credibility. He wants to inspire your belief in his credibility because of this evidence. However, his evidence exceeds your credulity. You are unwilling to belief him based on this slight evidence.

So, Ok his choice of evidence indicates to us that he has more credulity than credibility. But he was aiming for the opposite.

He is counting on your credulity, that you will believe his story is true on the slight evidence he submits.

Edited at 2009-12-28 04:40 am (UTC)

Your original text:
You (that is, the framing narrator, as the novel is told 3rd-person after the first 5 paragraphs) heard this tale, were presented with evidence of it's truth, and our evidence of your credulity is that you have changed the names deliberately so that we may not verify any of it ourself?

Substituting in the definition of credulity:

"You (that is, the framing narrator, as the novel is told 3rd-person after the first 5 paragraphs) heard this tale, were presented with evidence of it's truth, and our evidence of your willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence is that you have changed the names deliberately so that we may not verify any of it ourself?"

Substituting in the definition of credibility:

"You (that is, the framing narrator, as the novel is told 3rd-person after the first 5 paragraphs) heard this tale, were presented with evidence of it's truth, and our evidence of your quality or power of inspiring belief is that you have changed the names deliberately so that we may not verify any of it ourself?"

Which did you mean?

"You (that is, the framing narrator, as the novel is told 3rd-person after the first 5 paragraphs) heard this tale, were presented with evidence of it's truth, and our evidence of your willingness to believe it is that you have changed the names deliberately so that we may not verify any of it ourself?"

Credulity, as I said. Are you surprised that I would properly use a somewhat uncommon word instead of a similar common word with a different meaning?

He also says (paragraph 5) "If you do not find it credible you will at least be as one with me in acknowledging that it is unique, remarkable, and interesting.". Clearly he isn't presenting the name-change as evidence of his credibility, but rather his credulity.

Nope. You used the wrong word. He was trying to prove his credibility not his credulity.

And your additional quote proves the opposite of what you claim it proves. In the new quote he is saying that if you don't accept the evidence of his credibility you will at least enjoy the story. Meaning that his earlier name change statement was about credibility.

We disagree, apparently. You claim I meant "credibility", I claim I meant "credulity". I submit I have a better source of evidence regarding my intended meaning.

That word does not mean what you think it means.

No rational person would try to prove that they are credulous - gullible, as in: What kind of credulous fool do you think I am, to believe in such an impossible scheme?

If he was trying to prove his credulity then he succeeded with you, and you should not have said "Humbug" you should have said "Yes I agree with you, you are not a credible source."

The problem I'm having is that it is easier for me to believe that you are using the wrong word then for me to believe that you meant anything as stupid as what you insist that you meant.

If you used the wrong word, well, that happens to the best of us.

If you really meant what you said, well, that is just stupid.

Unfortunately, if you succeed in convincing me that me that really meant "credulity" you will just have have convinced me that you are holding an opinion that is so stupid it strains my credulity. I would rather believe that you are smarter than that.

It makes perfect sense to me.

The narrator does not wish to gossip, and therefore, just in case it _does_ happen to be true, obfuscates the names of those involved. Seems quite sensible to me, given that elements of the tale might be construed as quite scandalous by the characters' contemporaries.

Sufficient details are given in the tale that (were it not a novel) an interested reader could decypher the principals. There are only a couple of hundred people it could be, all of whom are highly documented and most of whom would rapidly be excluded.

But I see your point.

Make that "the narrator does not wish to be _accused of_ gossiping", then.

So just wanted to point out that I checked google to see if I was right with my guess which indeed I was.

I read all 24 novels plus a bunch of short stories within the last year, so I guess I had an advantage!

A co-worker was doing a book-dump earlier this week and I picked up 13 novels spread across two series and two more all by the same author. This novel wasn't one of them, but fortunately it was available via Project Gutenberg, so I was able to read it that way.

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