Safire disses Allan Metcalf

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Dec 16 08:14:20 UTC 2000

   William Safire's annual "Gift 'o Gab" is in his Sunday "On Language" column in THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE.  Allan Metcalf's wonderful HOW WE TALK: AMERICAN REGIONAL ENGLISH TODAY is never mentioned.  This is pathetic!
   Why is William Safire an ADS member?  He won't acknowledge me.  He won't acknowledge Allan.  His assistant won't even join for free.  Remember this when this wonderful person next uses the OED or DARE or another of our dictionaries.
   Yes, THE MAVEN'S WORD OF THE DAY mentions Jesse Sheidlower and Wendalyn Nichols of Random House.  Maybe it's because Safire really needs these people (OED and RHHDAS)?
   COPY EDITOR is mentioned.  Why?  It's new editor is Jeffrey McQuain.  It's not disclosed that McQuain was once William Safire's assistant!  Think he'd mention COPY EDITOR if Barry Popik were the new editor?
   Charles Harrington Elster's VERBAL ADVANTAGE is mentioned.  Elster is the "maven" who fills in for Safire (not mentioned), but who won't join the ADS or the ANS, even for free.  Can't even bother to respond!
   Barbara Wallraff and THE ATLANTIC ( is mentioned, despite the fact that there's no book.  Safire could have mentioned THE WORD DETECTIVE (Evan Morris), who has both a web site and a new book.
   WORDS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Robert Greenman is mentioned.  Why?
   WORDS ON WORDS by David Crystal and Hilary Crystal is mentioned, despite the fact that it's been on shelves for a long while now.
   Allan Metcalf's book should have been here.
   I cannot speak any lower about William Safire and The New York Times.

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