I was running late for various reasons when I found that the theme I was preparing just wasn’t going to fly. I was a little short on quotes that hadn’t recently been used, partially because I had used the same theme less than two months before. This was the Ides of March, so I decided to switch from Blood to Assassins, and one of the quotes I wanted to use was from Alexander Cockburn, but it wasn’t sourced. (For three months now I have used only sourced quotes in the mailing.) I had no problem tracking the quote. I had a real problem with the date, because Alexander Cockburn the eminent 19th century British jurist died in 1880 and Alexander Cockburn the travel writer already in the database was born in 1941. So now I have them both. Alas, I only have three quotes between them. If you know of any more, please drop me a line — as long as it doesn’t involve a third person of the same name!
Later the very same day I thought I’d spend a few minutes dealing with the infernal Channing mess, by which I mean the large number of quotes I have long had from both William Ellery Channing and his nephew William Henry Channing. While both were notable Unitarian clerics, the elder was a writer and speaker of national repute and most of my WHC quotes that could be sourced turned out to be WEC quotes. It had been about 70/50, now it’s 101/20. But wait! There’s more! One of them turned out be a different William Ellery Channing, another cousin of the original, this one a poet. To contemporaries, they were referred to as Dr Channing, William Henry Channing, and Ellery Channing, but when the readers send me their favorite quotes they rarely even realize there might be a question. I’ll have a job for life keeping up with it.