Writer and wit Dorothy Parker died on this day in 1967. She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers, journalists, raconteurs and general idlers and time wasters that regularly met at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City to drink and insult everyone including each other, and to exchange the barbs and one-liners they'd saved up for the occasion.
Parker was probably the most talented of the group. She wrote several short stories that have stood the test of time, notably "Big Blonde," and her poems ("Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses.") are still quoted.
She apparently coined the phrases "what the hell," "one-night stand," and "ball of fire."
"Maybe it is only I," Parker wrote, "but conditions are such these days, that if you use studiously correct grammar, people suspect you of homosexual tendencies."
For more about Dorothy Parker, visit Today in Farewells