THERE is one sure way to halt the modern obsession of suing for silly little things that in the not-so-distant past would have been considered just a bit of bad luck.

Some 50 odd years ago, marriage meant commitment, not just an excuse for a good knees-up, and couples went through a period beforehand known as an engagement.

During the engagement, if the chap got cold feet and dumped his fiancee, then she often sued him for breach of promise and won substantial damages if she succeeded.

When these cases started to escalate in number, judges became rather circumspect and wise, and started awarding damages of one farthing; this soon stopped the fashion of suing.

This should be tried again. The coinage would have to be one penny, of course, as farthings don't exist any more.

Bernard Lyne, Usher Park Road, Haxby, York.