It irritates me to hear TV newspeople say “passing” when they are speaking of a death.
In his 1983 (or 1984?) book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Paul Fussell wrote, “And of course the middle [class] is where you hear false teeth called dentures, the rich called the wealthy, and dying called passing away (or over). (Proles are likely to be taken to Jesus.)”
“The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts. They like them also because they assist their social yearnings toward pomposity.”
And in the 1950’s, Nancy Mitford in her essay “The English Aristocracy” characterized “die” as U (Upper Class) speech, and “pass on” as non-U (not Upper Class) speech.
This is the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series that J. K. Rowling writes under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Strike and his employee Robin Ellacott remain interesting characters. However, the story seems contrived and, to me anyhow, not really believable and not always interesting. Robin accepts delivery of a package that contains a leg that was severed from a murdered woman’s corpse. The perpetrator is a serial killer with a grudge against Strike. Strike names four suspects. One falls away, apparently having a good alibi, and three remain. Strike and Robin conduct an investigation that involves going to interview people and sometimes watching people’s movements. Not very interesting. The book has more violence, mayhem, and rape than one book needs. Meanwhile, Robin is planning her wedding to Matthew. She is also a potential target of the killer. Eventually we find out who the killer is. Well, it had to be somebody, but so what?