I was wondering, after Safire quoted Grant Barrett last week and Fred Shapiro the week before, whether he was finally feeling the sting of criticism, and was planning to armor himself by quoting one reputable linguist/lexicographer per week. Keep your eye on him!Now, there's a person with human kindness flowing through their veins. I had noticed this recent trend too, if not that it was so systematic, and had first wondered if Safire was aware of the criticism since he presumably doesn't actually read ads-l and such. If so, I glumly reckoned, he was getting worried about his sources cutting him off.
But let's get some data first on this point, then deal with possible motives later ... but never fear, anonymous reader, I'm on it.