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The maven is dead, long live the maven.

The late William Safire left behind a language-column vacancy that the NY Times has been filling with a rotating crew of language experts, some better than others. Now they've announced their choice for a permanent replacement, and it could hardly be better: Ben Zimmer, an actual linguist. Reading "On Language" will be slightly less enjoyable for us nitpickers but a lot more informative.
posted by languagehat on Mar 12, 2010 - 30 comments

William Safire dead at 79

RIP the master maven: William Safire dead at 79 of cancer. As someone who worked with him behind the scenes to help him with research for his language columns, I'm thankful for his attempts to bring discussions of language into popular discourse, or as he called it, his work in "the language dodge." [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 27, 2009 - 61 comments

Slanguage

Safire's latest list of slang
posted by srboisvert on Dec 3, 2004 - 91 comments

You Are a Suspect

You Are a Suspect A growing awareness by those on the right and on the left that our rights are now seriously in threat of total erosion in light of new Petnagon proposal to track all moves of citizens in giagantic data base. may require reg for NY Times.
posted by Postroad on Nov 14, 2002 - 66 comments

Goodness Gracious! What A Lot Of Ways Of Not Saying "God"!

Goodness Gracious! What A Lot Of Ways Of Not Saying "God"! Jeez may be MetaFilter's genteel exclamation of choice, but crusty and trusty old William Safire of the New York Times[registration required]has the gracious goods on other ways of not(quite)invoking the name of the Lord in vain; whilst proving en route that Donald Rumsfeld isn't, after all, the wilting sissy or pseudo-Southern belle we all thought him to be...
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jun 15, 2002 - 20 comments

"Who you gonna believe — me or your own eyes?"

"Who you gonna believe — me or your own eyes?" NYT's. Safire projects some troubling future.
posted by semmi on Jan 10, 2002 - 18 comments

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?

Hawk hiccup? How wide is wider in a `wider war'?
    With the world dazed and everything in flux, seize the moment. I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq.
    Safire has been Monday-morning quarterbacking in his column since September 11. (He suggested the FBI wasn't doing enough to "deprogram" material witnesses with "conservative Muslim clerics".) He's made no bones about his desire to squash all terrorists, coalition be damned. He's sided with "wider war" wing of the administration, but this is by far the zaniest scheme--projected onto his ex-boss in a convo from hell. I know there are a lot of people--intelligent people--reading MeFi that support the war. Mostly our discussions have run pro/anti. The flower-children (anachronistic anarchists?) like me should sit out this one. Do any of you imperialists pig-dogs support this?
posted by rschram on Nov 5, 2001 - 28 comments

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