Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Dearth

The Patron Saint of Grammar Purists
Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras (1744–1790) was a French aristocrat and supporter of the House of Bourbon during the French Revolution. Often seen as a martyr of the Royalist cause, Favras was executed for his part in “planning against the people of France.” It is legend that when he read his death warrant before being hanged at age 46, he remarked, “I see that you have made three spelling mistakes.”

Thank goodness he didn’t live to see the Internet — particularly the Public Comment sections.


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Randy Cassingham is best known as the creator of This is True, the oldest entertainment feature on the Internet: it has been running weekly by email subscription since early 1994. It is social commentary using weird news as its vehicle so it’s fun to read. Click here for a subscribe form — basic subscriptions are free.

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