Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is the Times shot? Or was that Schott?

I've been more or less flooded with emails for days about the new NYT blog, Schott's Vocab. I don't mean to be snarky, but here's my take:

Downsides: (1) More lite stuff on the op-ed page. (2) Still no actual responsible discussion of language in the whole operation. (Not his fault. Hint: Hire Jan Freeman or Nathan Bierma.) (3) Could take Schott away from work he does extremely well (see below and to the right.)

Silver linings: (1) He's at least billing himself as a word guy, not a language guy. (2) Maybe he'll replace Safire.

In short, I'm disappointed that the Times isn't doing something exciting on human speech in all its glory. I own and tremendously appreciate some of Schott's Miscellany volumes – just love'm. But this deal looks inane by comparison and by comparison to what they could be doing about language.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The other upside is that there's a lot of stuff going up ... it could be an interesting log of such material. Far less interesting than Zimmer and the rest on words, but ...