Modern messaging

King Boabdil, the 15th century king of Grenada, didn’t much like the news that a city had fallen to his enemies. So he had the messenger killed. It wasn’t the first time that the bearer of bad news had got the blame, or the last. The origins of the phrase, killing the messenger, goes back to Sophocles and Plutarch. Nowadays, we’re a bit more civilised and make clear distinctions between the message and the messenger, although we’d all prefer to be the bringer of glad tidings.

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