Thursday, February 28, 2008

William F. Buckley (1925-2008) -- This I Believe Essay

This from May, 2005, is reposted in remembrance of this irreplaceable man who died yesterday.

Mona Charen's recollections are also worth reading.

Like many a star-struck youngster, I maneuvered to meet him when I was in college. To my amazement, he agreed to be interviewed for my yearbook. Determined to ask questions that wouldn't betray my outsized admiration for him, I posed the vaguely feminist query, "In what ways would your life have been different if you had been born female?" His reply: "I'd have seduced John Kenneth Galbraith and spared the world much pain."


DSL was down this morning so my time is limited. No essays and profound insights this morning, I'm afraid. Sorry 'bout that.
Lest you go away hungry, here is a link to a wonderful "This I Believe" essay that will only take about five minutes of your time. More, actually, if you like to hear the thing twice through, if for no other reason than to hear this man's unbelievable vocabulary at work. (Click on the "Listen" icon to hear Buckley read his essay.)

Vocabulary has always been a passion for me. A graduate student I knew in college used the word "retrograde" naturally in conversation once and it impressed me a lot. I was impressed for two reasons. First, because he was from Bombay and second because he used it spot on [sorry, Cat] to describe the American Medical Association.

In the case of Buckley, he once used "jejune" in a sentence instead of "trivial." I had to look it up, and sure enough his point was much sharper thanks to his vocabulary.

Tip to Southern Appeal, which has already collected one snarky comment from an infidel.

No comments: