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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Zag fever apparently has a cure

They aren’t saying it out loud.

Nobody around here wants to be a pariah.

But people who hate sports are soooooo glad GU isn’t still alive in the tournament.

•Either one would be a good name for a Spokane band: Self-described “grammar freak” Melinda Krause wrote to correct me on my recent use of “cul-de-sacs.”

“The plural to cul-de-sac is actually culs-de-sac,” she wrote.

Well, Webster’s New World College Dictionary lists both. But here’s the thing. Krause’s note was really friendly. These messages are often snippy – sometimes hilariously so. Hers wasn’t.

So I am revising my Percentage of Slice Readers Who are Nuts Index downward, to 2.3.

•Readers who had issues with their first names as kids include: Mikel Reuter (a she), Kleone Deehr and LaVallene McKinnon.

•Your mileage may vary: The Slice heard from readers with all sorts of theories about the explanation for the names Five Mile and Nine Mile.

Here are a few of the responses.

“From the President Lincoln statue on Monroe and Main?”

“I was always under the impression that the starting place was downtown Spokane.”

“I understand that this is the mileage that U.S. Army cavalry soldiers traveled from the horse barns at Fort George Wright to Army facilities north of the river.”

“I was told long ago in school that Five Mile is called that because it is five miles from Spokane’s city center just as Nine Mile is nine miles from the city center.”

“Five Mile, I believe, is called that for being five miles from downtown. Nine Mile is mile marker 9 on Highway 291, meaning nine miles from Division and Francis.”

“The areas known as Five Mile, Seven Mile, and Nine Mile acquired those labels in the early days of settlement in Spokane (Falls) because they were that distance from the center of town.”

“It appears to me that these locations are distances from the old Fort Wright, along the river.”

“It is the miles from the downtown U.S. Post Office, according to early surveys.”

“The distance from Sprague and Division.”

And so on.

Stay tuned.

•Warm-up question: Are there any Washington or Idaho residents who try not to spend a dime in the other state as a way to protest some action of that state’s legislature?

•Today’s Slice question: How did you find out that someone was illegally using your credit card number?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail For previous Slice columns, see columnists. Do you like hearing oldies as you approach or exit River Park Square?

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