Wednesday, September 30, 2009

William Safire Is No More

William Safire, of the Nixon Administration, not the “howling pack of conservative pundits: Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter and Malkin” according to Maureen Dowd, is no more. I liked to read his rather simplistic style and threadbare analysis. Here’s a tribute she wrote to the multi-faceted etymologist, grammarian, and English-usage expert. Excerpt:

“The only time I ever saw a shred of doubt was after the famous dust-up when he wrote that Hillary Clinton, then the first lady, was “a congenital liar.”

"A congenital pot-stirrer, he acted delighted with Bill Clinton’s subsequent threat to punch him in the nose. But, as a famous expert on etymology, he must have known he had used the wrong word. Congenital usually connotes a condition existing at birth. Was that really what he intended?”

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