Three books, so the story goes, were on the desk of TIME'S editor when TIME'S first issue went to press the Bible, Xenophon's Anabasis, and the Iliad.
Of the three, the Iliad seemed to have the most immediate influence on TIME writing. Homer's "wine-dark sea" and "far-darting Apollo" were the parents of "jampacked bowl," "spade-bearded anthropologist" and many another space-saving phrase in TIME.
TIME'S telescoped nouns "socialite," "radiorator," "guesstimate" were similarly coined to get one word to do the work of two or more. This kind of economy led us to...