Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
October 6, 2009By Ben Zimmer
In this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, I take over the "On Language" spot to pay tribute to the man who originated the column, William Safire. (You can already read the online version here.) It's not quite as personal as the remembrance I posted here after learning of Safire's death, but it's no less heartfelt. As preparation, I took a stroll through some of the thousands of columns that Safire produced over three decades, focusing especially on his first year of language punditry, 1979. Though many of his early columns stand the test of time, one example where he was less than on-target had to do with a popular peeve: "could care less." Continue reading...