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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, March 14

Squash & Arizona Stupidity

English is such an odd language, borrowing words from other languages left and right, sometimes keeping the original pronunciation and sometimes putting our too often haughty linguistic twist on it and to hell with the original (I’m reminded of my decades-old battle with people mispronouncing “forte”). Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more examples of “squash” being used when my ear tells me it should be “quash.” The two words aren’t really synonyms, the first, “squash,” suggesting the physical act of squeezing or flattening something, and the second, “quash,” suggesting putting something down or refuting something non-physical. The word is almost always linked to rumors, as in “He quashed the rumor that he was gay.” Today, in Entertainment Weekly, I read a short review of an HBO documentary on Scientology. Melissa Maerz, the reviewer, says “that the church allegedly helped squash rumors about John Travolta’s sexuality.” One might sit on John Travolta hoping to squash him, but I think any rumors about him would have to be quashed. I'd have thought that a reviewer for the prestigious magazine Entertainment Weekly would have known better. But then, maybe the word “quash” is on the brink of extinction just like “forte” and old English fogies like me.

Arizona has gotten a lot of bad press these past several years, but too often we’ve deserved it. The world has gotten a good look at our state during the lengthy Jodi Arias trial, the trial not to determine her guilt or innocence, which was decided almost two years ago, but to decide whether to kill or not kill her.
After this very long, very expensive trial (over three million bucks in Arizona taxpayer money), Arias has made the best argument against the death penalty: It would cost much less to keep her in prison for the next forty years than to seek the death penalty in a long trial. And the whole world sees just how stupid we are. Arizonan John McCain and his GOP cohorts made a stupid move in that letter they sent to Iran. And most stupid of all, Arizona’s gun slingers are trying to pass legislation allowing for sawed-off shotguns and silencers and concealed weapons in public places, citing that old Second Amendment ploy that the more people who carry guns the safer we’ll all be. Talk about the shootout at the OK corral.
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