Did you know that in Britain you can be arrested for giving offence to someone? By a mere word?

Of course, the law also obtains in other countries, and it is applied there with enthusiasm by zealots more offensive than the offender. But if you called me a ‘deblaterating quidnunc’ in Market Square, Leighton Buzzard, you’d be banged up faster than a bible burner in Alabama.

Deblaterating? Fair comment. But quidnunc? It cuts me to the soul.

Worse, if you were a council official or my e...
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