On 5/30/06, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net>
That's a great example of a non sequitur.
It's usefulness won't be
established by choosing one of the most common names as a straw man.
Once you've established that a person lived at a particular address his
continuing appearance in the phone books for a 15 year period is
evidence that he may have lived there for that 15 years. Whether any
information source will be useful depends on what we are trying to do
with it. Why dismiss it prematurely?
Because you have no way of knowing whether the phone book is up-to-date.
Even if the celebrity in question doesn't have a secret phone number, the
encyclopedic merit of including phone book information is pretty much
At least in North America phone books are annual publications, with a
publication date like any other books. Each directory is as up to date
as it can be for the publication date in question. I'm not saying that
there are no limits to the utility of telephone books. They are, like
encyclopedias, convenient first places to look for information, but a
good researcher does not stop at that source.