A few days ago, The Washington Post, via Professor Eugene Volokh at UCLA School of Law, came up with a little gem from the American statutes – from Joplin, Minnesota actually.
Apparently “crafty science” is illegal there. What’s that, I hear you ask… 🙂
Professor Volokh cites section 82-15(a), which also happens to be a *lovely* piece of legalese…
Any person who shall advertise by display of a sign, circular or handbill, or in any newspaper, periodical, magazine or other publication, or by any other means, to tell fortunes or reveal the future, to find or restore lost or stolen property, to locate oil wells, gold or silver or other ore or metal or natural products, to restore lost love, friendship or affection, or to reunite or procure lovers, husbands, wives, lost relatives or friends, or to give advice in business affairs, or advice of any kind or nature to others for or without pay, by means of occult or psychic powers, faculties or forces, clairvoyance, psychology, psychometry, phrenology, spirits, mediumship, seership, prophecy, astrology, palmistry, necromancy or like crafty science, cards, talismans, charms, potions, magnetism or magnetized articles or substances, oriental mysteries, crystal gazing or magic of any kind or nature shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
So, if your interest is now piqued, I strongly suggest you head over to the wonderful blog Lowering the Bar by Kevin Underhill, where you will find out all about it – including a Google n-gram for the linguists among you. 🙂