From the definitions contained in the last section it has been seen that slander consists in oral words, while libel is either printed or written, or otherwise put into material form. A second distinction is that libel is both a crime and a tort, while slander is only a tort.9 Charges put in the form of a libel are actionable per se.10 (i. e. there may be a recovery therefor without proof of special damage), but slander is not actionable per se, except in a few special classes of charges.11 Slander from its nature can never be a joint tort, while libel very often is.

5 Commonwealth vs. Clap, 4 Mass. 163, 168; 3 Am. Dec, 212, quoted with approval in Rice vs. Simmons, 2 Harr. (Del.), 417; Clark vs. Binney, 2 Pick (Mass.), 113, 115; Mitchell vs. Bradstreet Co., 11 Mo., 226, 241; 22 S. W., 358; O'Brien vs. Bennett, 72 N. Y., App. Div. 367, 370, and many other cases.

6 Bain vs. Myrick, 88 Ind., 137, 138.

7 Johnson vs. Stebbins, 5 Ind., 364, 367.

8 Iron Age Pub Co. vs. Crudup

85 Ala., 519, 520. 9 In a few states certain specified slanderous statements are made criminal by statute. Booker vs. State, 10 Ala., 30; 14 So. Rep., 561; Schultz vs. Hubner, 108 Mich., 274; 60 N. W.. 57.