Friday, April 1, 2011

Interesting info from wordsmith


(SHAH-muhs, SHAY-)
1. A private detective.
2. A police officer.

Perhaps from Yiddish shames/shammes (sexton, a caretaker at a synagogue), from Hebrew shamash (servant). The spelling of the word has altered from the influence of the Celtic name Seamus (equivalent to James) as many police officers in the US at the time, especially in New York, were Irish. First recorded use: 1925.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

McShane: "Life of R. Chandler," p. 200

The lonely Chandler needs friendship, but he's not going to get it. He knows too much about it, how tenuous it is, how much a matter of convenience.

The Lady in the Lake, p. 542 (2)

a small oval lake deep in trees and rocks and wild grass, like a drop of dew caught in a curled leaf.

The Lady in the Lake, p. 542

through a maze of black oak trees and ironwood and manzanita and silence.

Farewell, My Lovely, p. 279

...and I held them for a moment and then let go slowly as you let go of a dream when you wake with the sun in your face and have been in an enchanted valley.