Call us a bunch of wordnerds, but it was a real thrill for my family when The William Safire wrote kindly in his On Language column about my brother Bill's second book, "The Elephants of Style" ("His 'gray areas' are stimulating." ) Like him or not, Safire led an interesting life. Here's my favorite part of his Times obit:
Years later, Safire called Hillary Rodham Clinton a “congenital liar” in print. Clinton said she was offended only for her mother’s sake. But a White House aide said that Bill Clinton, “if he were not the president, would have delivered a more forceful response on the bridge of Mr. Safire’s nose.” Safire was delighted, especially with the proper use of the conditional.