By William Safire
For the previous twenty-five years americans have depended on Pulitzer Prize-winning wordsmith William Safire for his or her weekly dose of linguistic illumination in The manhattan occasions Magazine's column "On Language" -- some of the most renowned beneficial properties of the journal and a Sunday-morning staple for innumerable lovers. he's the main greatly learn author at the English language at the present time.
Safire is the guru of up to date vocabulary, speech, language, utilization and writing. committed and disputatious readers itch to select up each one column and reply to the week's linguistic knowledge with a gotcha letter to the Times. the proper note within the correct position on the correct Time marks the booklet of Safire's 16th publication on language. This assortment is a vintage to be learn, re-read, loved and fought over. enthusiasts, critics and fellow linguists wait with bated (from the French abattre "to beat down") breath for every new anthology -- and, like its predecessors, this one is certain to fulfill and pleasure.
Safire reveals fodder for his columns in politics and present occasions, in addition to in technological know-how, expertise, leisure and everyday life. The self-proclaimed card-carrying language maven and dad grammarian isn't really above tackling his personal linguistic mistakes as he detects language traits and tracks phrases, words and clichés to their resource. Scholarly, unique and considerate, Safire's severe observations approximately language and slanguage are right away provocative and enlightening.
Safire is America's go-to man in terms of language, and he has incorporated sharp and passionately opinionated letters from readers around the English-speaking global who've been not able to withstand selecting up a pen to place the maven himself in his position or to provide trade interpretations, extra examples, a laugh anecdotes or simply props.
The correct note within the correct position on the correct Time is an interesting, realized and piquant examine the eccentricities and foibles that locate their method into the English language. Exposing linguistic hooey and rigamarole and packed with Safire's trademark knowledge, this e-book has a spot at the table or bedside desk of all who proportion his profound love of the English language -- in addition to his penchant for asking "What does that mean?" Or, "Wassat?"
This new assortment is certain to please readers, writers and observe fanatics in every single place and spark the curiosity of an individual who has ever puzzled, "Where did the word 'brazen hussy' come from?"
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Extra resources for 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
Let’s commence with symmetry, which means “in stability; in proportionate arrangement,” frequently implying a good looks that flows from such regularity. the center syllable is met, its root within the Greek metron, “measure,” which acts as a fulcrum in a properly balanced observe. William Blake used it so much memorably in his 1794 poem “The Tyger,” concluding, “What immortal hand or eye / Dare body thy nervous symmetry? ” (Making the final syllable, which appears like ee, rhyme with eye was once poetic license. ) uneven (or asymmetrical, both right, so i take advantage of the shorter one) has the most obvious dictionary definition of “not symmetric” and the slang that means of “out of whack,” yet a much less pejorative feel is constructing: “off-beat, intriguingly unbalanced. ” Asymmetrical conflict is outlined by way of the security division as “countering an adversary’s strengths by means of targeting its weaknesses. ” Michael Krepon wrote within the May-June 2001 factor of international Affairs that “asymmetrical war permits a weaker opponent to point the enjoying box by way of unorthodox capacity. ” The earliest quotation of the word i will locate, and one who indicates past army use, is by way of Robert Fox, a reporter for the day-by-day Telegraph, in 1991. He quoted a British commander, Lt. Col. Mike Vickery, who in comparison the arrival allied assault on Iraq to an unconventional maneuver through the 14th Hussars within the Peninsular conflict, because the English lower than the long run duke of Wellington drove the French out of Spain: “The regiment used to be certain to maneuver around the flanks, sneak around the again, you could say, to harry the rear and luggage teach. It was once what at the present time we name uneven conflict. ” (A trophy of that unconventional engagement in 1813 used to be a high-quality silver chamber pot given via Napoleon Bonaparte to his brother Joseph. ) some time past decade, the word used to be utilized to conflict that will be waged opposed to a superpower. Clinton’s security secretary William S. Cohen, in a farewell speech in January, outlined it as “indirect, yet hugely deadly, assaults on our forces and our electorate, now not continuously from international locations yet from contributors or even autonomous teams. ” until eventually lately, the that means was once restricted to the applying of shock strength via a terrorist opposed to a better force’s vulnerability, yet ever because the Sept. eleven assault, Pentagonians were utilizing uneven war to the type of commando and anti-guerrilla thoughts, drawing seriously on intelligence information, for use opposed to Taliban forces in Afghanistan—using non-superpower energy to move after a weaker foe’s vulnerabilities. the assumption is to struggle asymmetry with asymmetry. Lopsidedness (from lop, “to sever”) is in type, too: “Only squares might be donning directly hems subsequent spring,” writes Holly Finn within the monetary occasions, “but worry now not. performed good, an asymmetrical hem seems sexier. ” recognition All Alliterators. “Apt alliteration’s crafty aid”—Charles Churchill’s recognized foray was once now not utterly alliterative, due to the fact now not the entire first letters are reported an identical way—is alive and good at the political scene.