Ben Zimmer Named New York Times Language Columnist
We are very pleased to announce that Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, has just been named the "On Language" columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He will be replacing William Safire, who passed away last year after writing the "On Language" column for thirty years. Beginning with the March 21 issue of the Magazine, Ben will be writing the column on a biweekly basis.
Loyal readers will be familiar with Ben's work here in his "Word Routes" column, which he has written regularly since joining the Visual Thesaurus team in 2008. Before that time, he had worked as editor for American dictionaries at Oxford University Press, and he remains a consultant to the Oxford English Dictionary, as well as a member of the American Dialect Society and the Dictionary Society of North America.
Ben's writing about language has also appeared in Slate, the Boston Globe, Forbes.com, and the linguistics blog Language Log. William Safire frequently called upon his linguistic expertise, once calling him "that etymological Inspector Javert." He filled in as "On Language" columnist in 2009 when Safire went on hiatus due to ill health, and after Safire's passing he wrote a touching tribute in the Magazine entitled, "The Maven, Nevermore."
In the official announcement from The New York Times, Ben said, "It's an honor and a privilege to be welcomed in the space that William Safire called home for thirty years. I look forward to continuing this fine tradition with my own take on how language shapes our past, present and future."
We too are looking forward to his explorations of the richness of language, which he will be pursuing in both his "Word Routes" and "On Language" columns. Congratulations, Ben!