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May 27, 2013


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I don't believe "tick-tock" appeared in the 1968 first edition of The New Language of Politics. (After the 1972 edition, it was published as Safire's Political Dictionary in 1978, 1993, and 2008.) Safire also defined "tick-tock" in a 1973 Times column.


Thanks for that clarification, Ben. And thanks for the link to the Safire column, which was mostly about another excellent bit of journalese: MEGO ("my eyes glaze over").

For other readers: Ben Zimmer was William Safire's successor as the NYT's "On Language" column. Ben is now executive director of the Visual Thesaurus and language columnist for the Boston Globe.

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