Hate Mail, Volume 30.

January 01, 2004  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Hatemail

Hate Mailers Who Lost their Heads

The title of your article, "[Heads should [sic] Roll](http://www.fumento.com/disease/flu2004.html)," does not seem appropriate, since that is exactly what the militant Islamists are doing in Iraq. I believe an apology is due the families of the men who were beheaded.

[omitted] Nash

Dear Ms. Nash:

That was not the title I gave the piece, although I used it within. Decapitations are known to date back to ancient Greece and undoubtedly occurred far earlier. They were common in the Roman Empire and later adopted by almost all the countries of Europe. (Perhaps you've heard of the French Revolution and Madame Guillotine?) Done properly, they were the most humane form of execution and therefore often reserved for royalty while commoners where strangled. Moreover, the expression about rolling heads is also old and has long since lost its original connotation. As you must know, it simply means "to fire someone." Finally, I am not about to let terrorists keep me from flying, from taking a train, from opening mail, or from living and working in a high-threat city (Washington, D.C.). So I'm certainly not going to let those monsters with their dull knives prevent me from using a perfectly good linguistic term.

Michael Fumento