Luther to the Rescue

26 Aug

calumny – n.  slanderous statements

Classical Usage:  Guess where we are?  Yup, still hanging out over vodka pancakes at the funeral luncheon, but now Raskolnikov is explaining what would motivate Pyotr Petrovich to falsely accuse Sonya of theft.  “And to his question, whether I would sit Sofya Semyonovna next to my sister, I answered that I had already done so that same day.  Angry that my mother and sister did not want to quarrel with me over his calumny, he became more unpardonably thrown out of the house.”

Classically Mad Usage:  The eighth commandment!!  The eighth commandment!!  I know this one!!  Martin Luther wrote this great little, okay, long hymn about the Ten Commandments, and in the translation in the old, red The Lutheran Hymnal the stanza for “You shall not bear false witness.” sang like this:
Bear no false witness nor belie
Thy neighbor by foul calumny.
Defend his innocence from blame;
With charity hid his shame.
And I’m not ashamed to admit that in order to avoid being tricked by the false rhyme I always pictured a guy balancing a column on his knee.

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Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Crime and Punishment


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