The Weekly Standard‘s “Scrapbook” column had one of the more interesting comments on the Time magazine affair. (See yesterday’s post.) They speculate on what may have been the cause and, after rejecting several hypotheses, conclude with this:
Then again, it could be said that an old joke has returned to haunt the late novelist. During World War II, Waugh served on a British military mission to Yugoslavia, where he formed an everlasting disdain for Marshal Tito, the Communist partisan leader and postwar Yugoslav dictator. In subsequent years, whenever Tito would visit Great Britain, Waugh would insist, loudly and publicly, that Tito was, in fact, a woman in drag—referring to him, on second reference, as “she.” Perhaps the Time deputy assistant managing editor for listicles conflated this story? Not likely.
No, The Scrapbook must reluctantly conclude that the obvious explanation is probably the right one: The list was undoubtedly compiled by some contemporary bright young thing who, despite his/her/its Ivy League education, wouldn’t know Evelyn Waugh from the French and Indian Waugh. At which point, indeed, The Scrapbook would be relieved to learn that the editor in question knows that the novelist’s name is pronounced “waw,” not “waff.”
So, the journalists at the Weekly Standard get the last laugh (that’s pronounced “laff,” not “law”).