Magazine October 31, 2011, Issue

Words, Words, Words

Willard R. Espy, author of Almanac of Words at Play, in 1977 (Freddy E. Plimpton/Hawthorn Books/Wikimedia)

The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace.

Thus the founder of this magazine, writing in these pages, issue dated Nov. 19, 1955. Bill Buckley was famously a man of many, many words. He had, I mean, more words at his disposal — there in his head, ready to use — than most of us have. That “supererogation” is characteristic. Bill used the verb “supererogate” and its derivatives

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A bunch of obnoxious, freakish-looking people made a spectacle of themselves in downtown New York. You don’t say.

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