Yes, I’m talking about Ben Zimmer’s On Language column in the New York Times–the column that was started by William Safire some 30 years ago, and continued by Language Log’s Ben Zimmer after Safire’s demise. And unlike Safire, Zimmer actually knows what he’s doing. So why is the NYT magazine’s new editor getting rid of it?
Go to Facebook’s “Keep ‘On Language’ in the New York Times” page and click “like”.
If you don’t have a Facebook account already, you probably have to create one in order to “like” this group. I did this years ago for some cause or another, and it was worth the aggravation. They did ask my age, and it’s none of their business. I usually tell people like that I’m sixteen, but if you tell internet entities you are a minor, they might want to restrict the content they show you, so I told them I was 80 or 90 something. For the rest of the questions, I tell them as little as possible. Who knows what they will do with the information. Facebook does not have a good track record with privacy issues.
You can also write to the editor, but let’s face it, if the guy dropped Zimmer, he’s obviously not the sharpest tack in the box. It would probably be better to get someone else’s attention. Here is his twitter thingy. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind if they retired Safire’s number–he had his own unique conservative political thing going anyhow–as long as we get Zimmer, but this editor guy doesn’t look like he knows what he’s doing.
Bonus link: A lot of people can express ideas well if they have time to write them out and polish them, but how many people can think on their feet? Here’s Zimmer on video (and what a fresh-faced young pup he is) with John McWhorter discussing the State of the Union address. As they used to say in the Whole Earth Catalog, cream rises.
UPDATE: Yes, write to the paper. The Facebook page now lists these email addresses:
NYT Magazine letters to the editor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NYT Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren <email@example.com>
NYT public editor Arthur Brisbane <firstname.lastname@example.org>