TECHNICALITY, n. In an English court a man named Home was tried for
slander in having accused his neighbor of murder. His exact words
were: "Sir Thomas Holt hath taken a cleaver and stricken his cook
upon the head, so that one side of the head fell upon one shoulder and
the other side upon the other shoulder." The defendant was acquitted
by instruction of the court, the learned judges holding that the words
did not charge murder, for they did not affirm the death of the cook,
that being only an inference.
-- Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"