Monday, September 28, 2009

Never speak ill.....


I tend to keep politics off this blog, but it should be noted that conservative political columnist William Safire passed away this weekend.

In addition to being a political writer, Safire also wrote about writing and words. While I didn't share his politics, I enjoyed his Sunday columns "On Language." So imagine my surprise at reading this paragraph in the obituary that appears in the paper that hired him, the New York Times:
"And there were Safire “rules for writers”: Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid clich├ęs like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!"
Okay - it's well known that newspapers often have pre-written obituaries on file for famous people. Do you suppose Safire wrote his own obit, and is having a fine time laughing at his final joke?

6 comments:

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

wonderful!

(and avoiding split infinitives is only for the OCD among us!)

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I tend to keep politics off this blog...

Me too!
~

phd in yogurtry said...

I didn't often agree with him but I did respect him. And I can't say that for a lot of the opinion makers from the other side of the great divide.

Gilly said...

Never heard of the man, but I reckon he must have written his own obit - it is so funny!

My Father still spins in his grave if he hears a split infinitive! I feel very guilty if I use one!

Beverly said...

I love it. I do believe he is chuckling, and he is enjoying our chuckling, too.

Great post, Glennis. And, I love your new car.

MAYBELLINE said...

Didn't see the obit until your post. Probably written by a NAYSAYER TO THE NATTERING NABOBS.

Thanks for sharing.