Word Wednesday.

Canting

Adjective: affectedly pious or righteous <a canting moralist> [Origin: 5Cant.]

(1663)

1Cant

Adjective dialectal, England: Lively, Lusty. [Origin: Middle English, probably from Middle Low German kant.]

(14th Century)

²Cant

Transitive verb.

1: to give a cant or oblique edge to: bevel.

2: to set at an angle: Tilt.

3: Chiefly British: to throw with a lurch.

Intransitive verb.

1: to pitch to one side: lean.

2: slope.

[Origin: ³Cant]

(Circa 1543)

³Cant

Noun.

1: Obsolete: corner, niche.

2: an external angle (as of a building).

3: a log with one or more squared sides.

4a: an oblique or slanting surface b: inclination, slope.

[Origin: Middle English cant side, probably from Middle Dutch or Middle French dialect; Middle Dutch, edge, corner, from Middle French dialectal (Picard), from Latin canthus, cantus iron tire, perhaps of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh cant rim; perhaps akin to Greek kanthos corner of the eye.]

(1603)

4Cant

Adjective.

1: having canted corners or sides.

2: inclined.

(1663)

5Cant

Intransitive verb.

1: to talk or beg in a whining or singsong manner.

2: to speak in cant or jargon.

3: to talk hypocritically.

[Origin: perhaps from Middle French dialect (Norman-Picard) canter to tell, literally, to sing from Latin cantare.]

(1567)

6Cant

Noun.

1: affected singsong or whining speech.

2a: the private language of the underworld. b: obsolete: the phraseology peculiar to a religious class or sect. c: jargon.

3: a set or stock phrase.

4: the expression or repetition of conventional or trite opinions or sentiments; especially: the insincere use of pious words.

(1640)

“You could certainly call it that,” said Cornish. “Pompous, canting old hypocrite!” he went on. “Everybody’s got it in for him. Throws his weight about, ultra sanctimonious, and neck deep in graft for years past!” – The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, Agatha Christie.

Song Ci: The Washing Away of All Wrongs.

Nomenclature of human bones in Sòng Cí: Xǐ-yuān lù jí-zhèng, edited by Ruǎn Qíxīn (1843).

Nomenclature of human bones in Sòng Cí: Xǐ-yuān lù jí-zhèng, edited by Ruǎn Qíxīn (1843).

Song Ci (Sung Tz’u) is considered to be the founder of forensic science. In 1247, Song Ci wrote Collected Cases of Injustice Rectified or The Washing Away of Wrongs.

Different versions of the book exist, but the earliest existing version was published during the Yuan Dynasty, containing fifty-three chapters in five volumes. The first volume describes the imperial decree issued by Song Dynasty on the inspection of bodies and injuries. The second volume contains notes and methods on post-mortem examinations. The third, fourth, and fifth volumes detail the appearances of corpses from various causes of death and methods of treatments to certain injuries of a wounded person.

Song Ci ruled regulation about autopsy report for court, how to protect the evidence in the examining process, the reason why workers must show examination to public impartiality;how to wash dead body for examining the different reasons of death. At that time, the book had given methods to distinguish suicide or pretending suicide.

The particulars of each case must be recorded in the doctor’s own handwriting. No one else is allowed to write his autopsy report. A coroner must not avoid performing an autopsy just because he detests the stench of corpses. A coroner must refrain from sitting comfortably behind a curtain of incense that masks the stench, letting his subordinates do the autopsy unsupervised, or allowing a petty official to write his autopsy report, otherwise any potential inaccuracy is unchecked and uncorrected.”

He also said:

“Should there be any inaccuracy in an autopsy report, injustice would remain with the deceased as well as the living. A wrongful death sentence without justice may claim one or more additional lives, which would in turn result in feuds and revenges, prolonging the tragedy. In order to avoid any miscarriage of justice, the coroner must immediately examine the case personally.” [Source]

Medievalists has a list of ten observations Song Ci made when it came to discerning murder, and different types of murder.

Last year, photographer Robert Shults did a photographic series called The Washing Away of Wrongs, all taken at a forensic research facility in Texas.

Robert Shults, photograph from The Washing Away of Wrongs, with flowers from a nearby tree fallen across a donor’s body (courtesy the artist).

Robert Shults, photograph from The Washing Away of Wrongs, with flowers from a nearby tree fallen across a donor’s body (courtesy the artist).

You can read all about that, and see more too, at Hyperallergic. There are some graphic photos, so have a care.