In a Charlotte, N. C., domestic relations court, a trial was underway. An elderly man had been charged by his estranged wife with nonsupport because he didn’t give her enough money to live on.
After examining all the evidence from both sides, the judge made a ruling. He told the defendant, “You haven’t taken proper care of this good woman and I’m going to give her $25 a month.”
On hearing this, the defendant beamed with pleasure, and said, “How kind of you, Your Honor! Thank you very much. I’ll try to give her a dollar or two myself from time to time.”
What the judge meant was, “I rule that the husband pay his wife $25 a month.” But the husband, who was unfamiliar with court jargon, understood it exactly as it sounded. Having misunderstood that the judge himself would give $25 a month to his wife on his behalf, the man thanked the judge profusely.