[Ads-l] The _third degree_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 17 22:24:31 EDT 2016

The authors, thankfully, define terms like the “third degree” (it follows
after the initial round of questioning by the arresting officer and the
second round, by the assigned detective, fail to yield results).


That's not a "definition," sensu stricto, but WTF? Back in the '50's, I
read a different explication of the term, somewhere-nuther.

In the olden days, after the accused was arrested, the charges against him
were read to him and he was asked to confess: the first degree. If he
didn't confess, then he was taken on a guided tour of the torture chamber:
the second degree. If he still didn't confess, he was subjected to torture
until he either confessed or was killed: the third degree.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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