The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in The New York Times Magazine (Google eBook)

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 1, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 448 pages
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For the past twenty-five years Americans have relied on Pulitzer Prize-winning wordsmith William Safire for their weekly dose of linguistic illumination in The New York Times Magazine's column "On Language" -- one of the most popular features of the magazine and a Sunday-morning staple for innumerable fans. He is the most widely read writer on the English language today.
Safire is the guru of contemporary vocabulary, speech, language, usage and writing. Dedicated and disputatious readers itch to pick up each column and respond to the week's linguistic wisdom with a gotcha letter to the Times. The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time marks the publication of Safire's sixteenth book on language. This collection is a classic to be read, re-read, enjoyed and fought over. Fans, critics and fellow linguists wait with bated (from the French abattre "to beat down") breath for each new anthology -- and, like its predecessors, this one is bound to satisfy and delight.
Safire finds fodder for his columns in politics and current events, as well as in science, technology, entertainment and daily life. The self-proclaimed card-carrying language maven and pop grammarian is not above tackling his own linguistic blunders as he detects language trends and tracks words, phrases and clichés to their source. Scholarly, entertaining and thoughtful, Safire's critical observations about language and slanguage are at once provocative and enlightening.
Safire is America's go-to guy when it comes to language, and he has included sharp and passionately opinionated letters from readers across the English-speaking world who have been unable to resist picking up a pen to put the maven himself in his place or to offer alternate interpretations, additional examples, amusing anecdotes or just props.
The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time is a fascinating, learned and piquant look at the oddities and foibles that find their way into the English language. Exposing linguistic hooey and rigamarole and filled with Safire's trademark wisdom, this book has a place on the desk or bedside table of all who share his profound love of the English language -- as well as his penchant for asking "What does that mean?" Or, "Wassat?"
This new collection is sure to delight readers, writers and word lovers everywhere and spark the interest of anyone who has ever wondered, "Where did the phrase 'brazen hussy' come from?"
  

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Review: The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine

User Review  - Matt - Goodreads

A collection of Safire's language columns from his NYTimes days. Okay, but not really what I was looking for, so I return it unfinished. Read full review

The right word in the right place at the right time: wit and wisdom from the popular "On language" column in The New York times magazine

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

More "On Language" columns for Safire's fans. ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
5
Section 2
16
Section 3
32
Section 4
71
Section 5
84
Section 6
97
Section 7
130
Section 8
143
Section 14
218
Section 15
245
Section 16
258
Section 17
287
Section 18
291
Section 19
312
Section 20
362
Section 21
368

Section 9
159
Section 10
173
Section 11
175
Section 12
178
Section 13
196
Section 22
370
Section 23
378
Section 24
396
Section 25
399
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

William Safire was born on Dec. 17, 1929. He attended Syracuse University, but dropped out after two years. He began his career as a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune. He had also been a radio and television producer and a U.S. Army correspondent. From 1955 to 1960, Safire was vice president of a public relations firm in New York City, and then became president of his own firm. He was responsible for bringing Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev together in 1959. In 1968, he joined the campaign of Richard Nixon as a senior White House speechwriter for Nixon. Safire joined The New York Times in 1973 as a political columnist. He also writes a Sunday column, On Language, which has appeared in The New York Times Magazine since 1979. This column on grammar, usage, and etymology has led to the publication of 10 books and made him the most widely read writer on the English language. William Safire was the winner of the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. He is a trustee for Syracuse University. Since 1995 he has served as a member of the Pulitzer Board. He is the author of Freedom (1987), a novel of Lincoln and the Civil War. His other novels include Full Disclosure (1977), Sleeper Spy (1995) and Scandalmonger (2000). His other titles include a dictionary, a history, anthologies and commentaries.

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