Wick Communications

On Language moves on

In journalism on 25 Mar 2010 at 11:32 am

There is a new word sheriff in town. And it’s that guy on the left.

His name is Ben Zimmer. (By the way, the guy on the right is the late William Safire.) He is executive producer of vocabulary.com and something called “the visual thesaurus.” That last one is pretty incredible. Take a look for yourself.

The New York Times Magazine has announced that Zimmer will take over for the Safire and begin to write the iconic “On Language” column. Those are some mighty big shoes and I don’t envy Zimmer the task, but I guess someone who studied linguistics at Yale and is a consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary is probably up to the task.

If you aren’t familiar with On Language you might take a look. Safire typically took aim at something topical each week and expanded on the derivations, the repercussions, the advisability of language surrounding the news. It’s really interesting stuff for any writer…

You can’t do what we do for a living and not be fascinated by the words we use, can you? The English language may seem like a fairly stable universe but it’s ever-evolving. For example, Zimmer notes that “to Kanye” has entered the lexicon and doesn’t appear to be hip-hopping down the lane any time soon. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then I’ll stop Kanyeing your day and let you read about it here.


  1. I like that visual thesaurus! It even has a crossword puzzle!

  2. […] Lambert, “On Language Moves On” (The Kicker, Wick Communications, Mar. 25, […]

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