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What is a shrift, and why do I care if I get a short one?

-- Rick Greenburg, San Diego

Shrift: noun; (1) confession of sin; (2) absolution following confession. Short shrift: noun; (1) long ago in merrye olde England, the brief time allowed a condemned prisoner to confess his sins before being hanged. Long on sins, short on shrift? No good, I guess.

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