Saturday, November 10, 2007
The hoax was, apparently, produced by a Welsh writer, passed to an international network centred in England run by somebody not born in England. It claimed to be authored by 4 people, 2 with anglosaxon names, 1 Indian, 1 possibly Dutch working out of the Universities of Arizona & Gothenberg, Sweden, published by a non-existent Japanese journal. The repudiations I have received came from all over the world & this was picked up by Reuters (founded in Britain in Napoleonic times by a German-Jewish family) misquoting me, A Scots blogger & a Professor Chen of Gothenberg U.
This was then published by an Australian newspaper & Peter from Australia emailed me providing other links including a US one.
When Mark Twain said
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." just over a century ago he was being metaphorical but nowadays it is clear that it can & does literally circle the world several times before breakfast.
On the other hand where the net does also score is that it is possible for anybody to link to the most primary source, or those who have already done so as with this saying which has spent decades going round the print media & even politics shows.
By comparison H.L. Mencken's magnificent bathtup hoax kept being reused by ill-informed editors decades after its author's demise.