William Safire: How to Read a Column

When I was a kid, my father challenged me to read the NYT as an exercise.

My response: Bor-ing!

Years later, he extended the challenge to William Safire’s Sunday NYT Magazine columns, On Language.

Good scribes learn early on that half of writing is extensive reading: I credit Safire with expanding my vocabulary, and teaching me how to construct a solid article. He also showed that sometimes you have to write what want, regardless of what the readership (thought it) wanted.

He passed this weekend.

A few items:

• Be sure to see this Safire column, circa 2005:  How to Read a Column

• Safire was criticized for his erroneous linkage of Saddam Hussein and al Queda: The Propaganda of William Safire.

• His TDS appearance:

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