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.