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Friday: April 22, 2005

Naive Question I

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:22 PM UTC

If you’re going to call the new Pope “the Grand Inquisitor” because he once headed the organization long ago known as the Inquisition, shouldn’t you be consistent? Somewhere in Massachusetts (Salem, I guess) there must a judge you can call “Witchburner” because he sits on the same bench long ago occupied by a judge who sentenced witches to be burned at stake. (Probably in other towns, too, though Salem’s witches are the best-known.) And I suppose you could call the current chief judge in Fort Smith, Arkansas “the Hangin’ Judge” as if he were somehow responsible for the deeds of his predecessor, Isaac Parker. But wouldn’t that be an obviously stupid thing to do? Not to mention potentially libelous. (Note to judges in Salem and Fort Smith: I said you could say such a thing, not that I do say it, or ever would.)

Update: (4/27, 1:00 am)

I had a nagging feeling there was something I needed to check before posting: for “Witchburner” read “Witchhanger” (or “Witchstretcher”?), and see the first comment for why.

1 Comment

  1. Of course, no one convicted of witchcraft in what later became the U.S. was ever sentenced to be burned; the nineteen convicted at Salem were hanged.

    Comment by John "Akatsukami" Braue — Tuesday: April 26, 2005 @ 10:17 AM UTC

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