In Bech (2001a, 2001b), I took issue with the oft-repeated claim that Old English conjunct main clauses are commonly verb-final, and disproved it. However, the myth persists. In the meantime, the York–Toronto–Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose (YCOE, Taylor et al.
2003) has been created, so the time has come to revisit this topic and consider it in light of new, extensive and generally accessible data. Using the YCOE corpus, I confirm and expand on Bech's (2001a, 2001b) empirical findings, showing that (i) OE conjunct clauses are neither typically verb-final nor verb-late, but they are more frequently verb-final and verb-late than non-conjunct clauses are; and (ii) verb-final and verb-late clauses are typically conjunct clauses. These two perspectives must be kept apart: in the first, the starting point is the entire body of conjunct clauses, and in the second it is the entire body of verb-final/verb-late clauses. I propose that the failure to distinguish between the two perspectives, i.e. whether it is conjunct clauses or word order that constitutes the point of departure, is the origin of the misconception concerning conjunct clauses and word order. In order to establish whether this distinction has been fuzzy all along, or whether it must be ascribed to distorted referencing in the course of a century of research, I trace the research on this topic back to the end of the nineteenth century. I show that the alleged verb-finality of conjunct clauses may be ascribed to a whisper-down-the-lane effect – the retelling of the story has changed the story.