Execution cannot be pardoned

Execution cannot be pardoned - a common catch phrase for describing two mutually exclusive possibilities, where the meaning changes depending on the place of the pause after or before the word "cannot". Numerous examples of such expressions are given by the Greek legends about oracles, when, due to the ambiguity of the phrase, the predictions came true exactly the opposite.

The phrase was attributed to various Russian tsars, starting with Peter I, although it appeared rather late and, possibly, goes back to Western sources. Thus, the resolution “You cannot pardon. To be sent to Siberia "(English." Pardon impossible. To be sent to Siberia ") - was quoted in the newspaper column of the American journalist R. Ripley (English Robert Ripley)" Believe it or not. " As if Alexander III answered the petition for clemency, but Empress Maria Feodorovna rearranged the point.

It is also attributed to Emperor Charles V (1500-1558) in the form "Perdón imposible que cumpla su condena" (lit. "It is impossible to forgive his sentence").

An early legend of this kind is known - the story of the letter of the English queen Isabella to the jailer of her husband Edward II, who was killed in 1327: “Edvardum occidere nolite timere bonum est” (possible translation from Latin: “Do not dare to show fear to kill Edward”).

The expression was most widely known among the Soviet audience after the cartoon "In the Land of Unlearned Lessons" (directed by Yuri Prytkov, 1969), in which the life of the protagonist depended on how he placed punctuation marks in this sentence. Also found in the cartoon "Twelve Months", where the young queen is trying to correctly apply this resolution.