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Rumilluminations Now
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Thu, June 06 2019 - 5:42 am

June 7, 2019
Madison IN

It looks as if the word "prise" is now archaic. The past several times I've seen it used it has been spelled "prize."

So how will surprise be spelled now? Surprize?

My electronic editor doesn't seem to think so, but maybe it is etymologically mistaken. Surprise originally meant an unexpected seizure or attack. Now it usually is used in a more pleasant sense of a gift or a party. If it is not desirable we are usually forewarned of the fact: an unpleasant surprise may not be uncommon, but a horrible one would probably be called a shock.

Why I bother with talk like this I can't imagine. I enjoy it, but does anyone else care anymore?

I'm trying to get back in the habit of writing, and this little bit of pedantry is what came up.

I last saw "prize" misused in a novel called The Weight of Ink, which I have just begun. Heh - maybe prize weighs more. I shouldn't doubt.

June 6, 2019
Madison IN

A month or two ago my forty-something-year-old daughter, who does not drive, could not fly to Georgia from New Mexico because her state I.D. did not arrive in the mail in time for the flight.

No. She was not trying to fly from Mexico to Russia. She was traveling from the State of New Mexico in the United States of America to the State of Georgia in the United States of America.

The ninety-year-old former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was recently turned away at the polls in that city by people who knew her because she didn't have the proper now legally-required I.D.

I'm sitting here racking my brains trying to think of the other examples of heartless malfunction of our society for no good reason that I have heard about that don't involve our southern borders, because there are hundreds of examples of those in recent years, decades and perhaps a century now. They would fill volumes. Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the problem.

The courts obviously have gone whacko I want to say, but they have been skewed in the favor of one group of people or another based on race or money or religion or region for probably the history of the world.

Now that we can publicize our pettiness and irrationality and greater sins to the world not only in print but in color and action in videos we all haven't responded as I would have expected. Proof of wrongdoing has not shamed us and made us resolve to do better and change our behavior. As far as I can tell, we just shrug our shoulders and like a three-year-old, chant a bratty, "I don't care."

Don't let people tell you we Northern Americans don't deserve Trump.

Oh we do, we do.

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