Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Write Away: G is for Gumshoe and Gun

Let’s start off with something a bit lighter than our other terms.

Did you ever wonder about the origin of the term, Gumshoe? Gumshoe was a synonym for detective in the early 20th century. The term stuck, so to speak, because of the sneakers used by the detectives. The sneakers suggested stealthy investigating by gumshoes.

Gun is a bit harder, but still easier than some terms we’ve tackled so far.

Most of us non-professionals call a firearm a gun. Law enforcement and military folks tend to say weapon for the specific kinds of firearms they use. One could infer that gun is the more generic, encompassing term. Thus all weapons are guns, but not all guns are weapons.

Some say the distinguishing factor for gun vs. weapon is that a weapon is meant to bring harm to others. That is its raison d’être, whereas a gun is a tool used, for example, to signal for help or to protect oneself.

Thus it would seem that intent is what distinguishes whether a firearm is a weapon or a gun. I’d be happy for someone to set me straight if I am off-base.

Part 7 of 26 of “The List” is next. Keep reading to see how Frieda responds to Mort.

Grimacing, she pulled her attention back to her work and away from his entreaties.  She had columns to produce and her book deadline was looming. It hadn’t been her idea to show up at this beach condo for a week. Mort had practically kidnapped her, insisting that the two of them needed some time together, to talk. Like being married for 43 years wasn’t enough time together!
            “C’mon, Frieda. We been here for four days, and you’ve hardly looked at the beach. You can take a fifteen-minute break, and I’ll get you a nice little glass of icy Sauvignon Blanc. This weather is perfect. You can smell the water!”
            What is wrong with the man? He knows my schedule and commitments better than I do. But her concentration was broken. She knew she would have a hard time picking up the rhythm again. What should she do? She lifted the black globe and shook it. Should I go outside to Mort?
            “Yes, definitely.” Sighing at an answer she didn’t want, she rose from her chair anyway.


  1. I always wondered why they called them gumshoes. Now I know. ;-)

    Cait @ Click's Clan

    1. Pretty cool. I was surprised that rubberized soles went back to the late 1800s. The stuff you learn doing this challenge, eh? Nice to see you again.