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Letter: Something is rotten

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

During my time as a student, a recalcitrant one at best, attending Mathews High School, I had the then—unrecognized by myself—benefit of being taught by a gentleman possessing an extraordinary intellect, wit and humor, Mr. Bernard Tatterson.

I recall whenever Mr. Tatterson suspected something was amiss, he would usually comment, “Something is rotten in Denmark.” For years, I thought this quaint phrase originated with Mr. Tatterson as simply a way of expressing a suspicion of deceit. In the intervening years, I subsequently learned that the phrase was from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and used in the context of a suspicion of deceit. The revelation came as no surprise, as I knew Mr. Tatterson to have possessed the attributes of, as they say, a gentleman and a scholar.

I find that Mr. Tatterson’s long-ago use of a Shakespearean quote to express suspicion of deceit is entirely in keeping with what is occurring in the ma...

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