Education: Word King

Pursuing the native tongue down back alleys and byway.

Eric Partridge, to coin a phrase, has done it again. At 83, the scholar of slang and connoisseur of cliches has produced his 16th lexicon, A Dictionary of Catch Phrases. Its 3,000 entries are liberally defined as sayings that have "caught on and please the public." Here are the phrases that trip resoundingly off the tongue: "Don't just stand there—do something!"; "Attaboy!" Here are the immortal quotes: "Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes"; "All quiet on the Western front." Plus those '60s buzz words: "Cool it!"; "Tell it like...

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