Entries by Cynthia Trenshaw

SHRDLU

What on earth does THAT word mean? It’s not an acronym. It is sort of a neologism, though it’s hardly new, and has already pretty much disappeared from our language, leaving barely a whisper behind. Shrdlu is the second half (my favorite half) of the nonsense phrase etaoin shrdlu which comprises the order of frequency […]

A New Year

    On February 29, 2020, a Washington citizen became the first in the United States to die of Covid-19. Twenty-twenty was a “leap year.” Twenty-twenty-one is not, yet it has “leaped” over that important date.   There is no February 29 this year to mark the ominous anniversary of what would stretch into twelve […]

MALAPROP

    Last month’s blog post played with oxymorons. This month I’ve moved on to malaprops! A few weeks ago Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference at which he explained more stringent pandemic guidelines for Washington. I am proud of our newly-reelected governor – he’s thoughtful, strong, articulate. But of his entire 20 minutes […]

Thoughts for an Oxymoronic Time

  In my third grade class our teacher, Mrs. Cole, assigned a project: we were to create one or two finger puppets, write a few lines of dialogue for them, and each present a short “play” for the class. I made two “potato head” puppets, one a “student” and one a “scientist.” I didn’t know […]

Butterfly Soup

Did you think this would be a children’s illustrated story of an orange-and-black winged creature, perhaps wearing a little apron, stirring a pot of chowder? No, this is not that tale. Did you imagine six delicate legs, and a spiral proboscis touching lightly on the surface of a sweet creamy bisque? No, not that either. […]

A Tale of Hope

Once upon a time there was a little girl who was afraid of almost everything: bugs that flew, caterpillars that crawled, lightning that flashed, winds that blew, dogs that barked, rumors of robbers, sirens that screamed in the night, vegetables that looked unfamiliar, people that spoke with difficult accents. In tears she often ran to […]

An Amendment with a Catch

Did you ever wonder about where our one-hundred billion dollar prison industry had its beginnings, and why it so disproportionally confines people of color? For starters, look no further than the Thirteenth Amendment to The Constitution of the United States. Go ahead. Look it up on Google. Read the whole Amendment. I’ll wait here while […]

In Praise of Anchorites

The coronavirus pandemic has sent journalists, medical personnel, and politicians scrambling to their thesauruses (thesauri?) for synonyms often found in monastic lexicons. We’ve been advised to remain “sequestered,” “isolated,” “withdrawn,” “secluded,” “disengaged,” and even “cloistered.” It’s the phrase “locked down” that reminds me of the monastics of the Middle Ages who were called anchorites. An […]

Little Wonderings

“Hmm…” was the clue for 6-Across in a recent L.A. Times Sunday crossword puzzle. 6-Across had seven squares, so I filled in “IWONDER.” Which sent me down a rabbit hole of several things I’ve been wondering about lately, in this time of pandemic and quarantine. I wonder if the companies that make the brass fittings […]

“Statues”

    “Statues” was a game we kids played during recess on the playground. One kid (usually a girl, a bossy “Lucy” type) got to control the action; the rest of us would dance and whirl and act crazy until she shouted “Freeze!” and we’d all stop in mid-action. Whoever wobbled first from their “statue” […]