My granny told me… and I have a sword!

Day 1 of this pointless and Draconian lockdown, but at least the tedium is broken a little by my entertaining gaggle of stalkers on Quora. These bizarre characters fill their lives by pouncing on any comment I make, puffing up their feathers and frantically arguing that black is white, and up is down.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a comment to correct someone who asserted that the British wore ‘full, brightly coloured uniforms’ in the (Second) Boer War. I pointed out that this is a fallacy, and that the last time the British infantry wore their famous red coats in a significant action was the Battle of Ginnis, in 1885. The fellow responded, politely admitting he was incorrect and edited his initial comment accordingly.

Fair enough.

Recently, however, one of my stalkers chanced across this long-forgotten exchange, and rushed in to ‘agree’ with the initial poster, even though he had already admitted he was wrong.
So why did my stalker rush to agree with him? Well, quite simply because I was the one who pointed out the mistake.

I then asked my funny little stalker to provide evidence to support the claims that the British wore ‘full, brightly coloured uniforms’, as this would completely revolutionise our understanding of the Boer War, and, indeed, the History of the British Army in general.

It was at this point that he really gave me a chuckle. My stalker said that he didn’t need to provide any actual references (or presumably read any actual books) to know everything about the Boer War, as:

“My alternative source is family history – you know grandmothers are the repositories of History?”

So he freely admits that he feels he can rely entirely on family anecdotes (AKA. Chinese whispers), as he claims to have had a couple of Great-Grandfathers who fought in it. He then claimed – now this really is the clincher – he has one of their swords.

Next time I write a book, I am tempted to use his technique as a reference for all my points:  “My granny told me and I have a sword”

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