by Jay Nordlinger

In today’s Impromptus, I have an item about the Magna Carta — or “Magna Carta,” as the Brits say, pure and simple. No article. I once had a British colleague who took offense at “the Magna Carta.” A vulgarity, he thought.

Anyway, a reader sends in a joke — not a vulgar one. (I forgive him, this once.) Here you go:

A British guide was leading a group of American tourists through Runnymede. “It was here,” he announced, “that Magna Carta was sealed.” “When?” asked one of the tourists. “1215,” said the guide. “Dang,” said the tourist, glancing at his watch. “We missed it by a half an hour.”