Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Writing stuff

Let me get this out of the way. I hate the New York Times. No, it's not the same type of hatred that I feel towards, say . . . fire ants. Those I can destroy or at least try to, like I've been doing for over 20 years. But that's another story.

No, my hatred of the New York Times is closer to my feelings about poison ivy. I know it's there and simply do my best to avoid it. Unfortunately, seldom though they may be, there are occasions when I've risked exposure to something I know will leave me screaming in irritation if, by accident, I'm not careful where I've stepped.

For years I've traipsed through the poison-weed known as the New York Times for one thing only: William Safire. And now, he's retiring.

His last columns appeared a few days ago, but one I thought especially relevent: How to Read a Column.

In twelve easy steps, a parting gift to his readers, Safire eviscerates the writing technique used by the liberal op-ed columnists he's leaving behind at the New York Times.

It's also valuable guidance to those of us who write, even if only occasionally, on things political.

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