Today marks one year since William F. Buckley passed away. As a conservative and, especially, as a proponent of elegant English, Buckley was an idol of mine. I remember getting his little book, The Lexicon, when I was in college. I found joy on every page.
Since then, I’ve delighted in his many books and articles, though I’ve yet to read one of his spy novels. In tribute, might I recommend an article of his on a subject near and dear to my heart: follow this link and enter these key words to search: defense use unusual words. The article with those words in the title will come up for your languorous perusal. (I couldn’t find a direct link to it. Sorry.)
A terrific memorial is up today at National Review, the vanguard political establishment that Buckley founded, and which remains the best print voice for the movement. Even the New York Times ran a respectful obit when he died, which gave a solid overview of Buckley’s career in commentary and composition.
My father subscribed to National Review from its first issue. I can remember struggling through issues in high school (in the 60s), a dictionary beside me. Mr. Buckley certainly fed my passion for the language, and my appetite for sharp, witty responses to the overwhelmingly liberal voices of the day. His voice is missed in today’s debates.
Thanks, Jane. At least we still have Dalrymple and Stein. Just like Reagan, when Buckley passed on, the mainstream media reversed their years of invective and praised his obvious qualities. Gives us all hope to at least have decent obituaries, eh?
He was a great man. I particularly admired he use of arcane vocabulary. His Lexicon book was brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post. I have just written a post entitled: “Improve your lexicon and learn to speak like William F. Buckley Jr” If you have time, drop by and have a peruse. http://twelveprinciples.wordpress.com/
Kevin, your new blog looks great so far–I can tell we share some interests, and I’ll check in on your work again soon.