By LAWRENCE FELLOWS
Although both words have the same Latin root, dico, meaning to speak. and are pronounced the same, they have developed quite different meanings. To indict someone is to charge him with a crime, formally or in writing. To indite is to compose or write, usually something nice.
In Shakespeare’s time, to indite was to write an invitation, obviously to something more inviting than an indictment. As Benvolio said teasingly when the “good, sweet” Nurse asked about Romeo: She will indite him to supper.
Incidentally, indictments nowadays are handed up, decisions are handed down.