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. See 8 Holdsworth, History of English Law
353–356, which discusses the practice whereby 17th-century judges sought to discourage
actions for slander by holding that “in these actions the words complained of must
be construed not in their natural sense, but, whenever possible, in 'mitiore sensu.'
That is, they must be held not to be defamatory if a non-defamatory sense could be
twisted out of them.” Id
. at 355.