Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Dec 5 20:01:49 UTC 2006

On Dec 5, 2006, at 11:26 AM, Joe Salmons wrote:

> Yeah, I was stunned by Raum's piece on "bad grammar and lazy language
> use". Isn't this an issue for people like us, who care about how
> language is talked about in the public sphere?  The NYT presumably
> isn't ever going to get Safire under control (let alone fire him), no
> matter how outrageous his inaccuracies or how questionable his
> research methods.

safire is producing a signed column, and newspapers give columnists
an enormous amount of latitude.  they do little if any fact-checking,
and complaints and corrections are normally directed to the columnist
rather than being aired in the paper.  columnists speak for
themselves, not for their papers.

the NYT is not going to fire safire.  for one thing, his columns are
enormously popular.

raum's NPR piece was the audio equivalent of a signed column.

> ... But I wonder if NPR might not be easier to
> educate: Has anyone tried writing to them, or talking to people there?

we *have* a person there -- geoff nunberg, who does "columns" for
Fresh Air.


The American Dialect Society -

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