Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella by William Safire

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William Safire, America’s favorite writer on language, offers a new collection of pieces drawn from his nationally syndicated “On Language” column. Laced with liberal (a loaded word, but apt) doses of Safire’s wit, these pieces search culture (high and low), politics, entertainment, and the word on the street to explore what the old but livelier-than-ever English language has been up to lately.

With a keen wit and a sure grasp of usage, Safire dissects trends and traces the origins of colloquialisms that have become second nature to most Americans. He examines everything from whether one delivers “a punch on or in the nose” when offended to whether a disgraced politician should “step down,” “step aside,” or “stand down.” Safire gives us the answers to these and many more quandaries, questions, and complexities of our contemporary lexicon.

As always, Safire is aided by the Gotcha! Gang and the Nitpickers League--readers who claim to have found the language maven making flubs of his own. His comments and observations create a spirited, curious, and scholarly discussion showing that William Safire and his readership are wise in the way of words.

About William Safire

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William Safire, Pulitzer Prize–winning political columnist for The New York Times, began writing his “On Language” column in 1979. He is the most widely read commentator on the state of the English language today. He lives near Washington, D.C.
Published November 20, 2001 by Crown. 400 pages
Genres: Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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This 12th collection from Pulitzer Prize–winning political columnist Safire's "On Language" column (in the New York Times Magazine since 1979) proves that there is no wittier, more gracious stickler for correct usage and grammar.

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