In the Middle Ages those suspected of witchcraft were often subjected to a ‘trial by fire’ to prove their innocence or guilt. The idea was that fire was a divine manifestation and hence the ordeal of being burnt would result in harm only for those consorting with the devil while sparing the innocent (Russell 1972). Today, we know that the only way to escape the ordeal of being burnt unscathed is not to be subjected to it in the first place.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)