Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Jerry Seinfeld Defends The Word Really To The New York Times


A note to Neil Genzlinger (“The ‘R’ Word: Really, Really Overused,” Arts pages, Oct. 2):

Your Critic’s Notebook column about the overuse of the term “Really?” was so deeply vacuous that I couldn’t help but feel that you have stepped into my area of expertise.

Really, Neil? Really? You’re upset about too many people saying, “Really?”? I mean, really.

O.K., fine, when it’s used in scripted media, it is a little lazy. But comedy writers are lazy. You’re not fixing that.

So, here’s the bottom line.

If you’re a writer, fine, don’t use it. But in conversation it is fun to say.

I did a “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update” segment titled “Really!?!” with Seth Meyers a few years ago. It was a blast and the audience loved it.

Your example with the girl in the office and the bad clothes? It is definitely much more fun to look at her and just say, “Really?” than to actually talk about the stupid outfit. Really, it is.

What I do not say or write, as you did in the part about responses to Einstein’s theories, is “wrap my head around it.”

Are you kidding? No, no, no, Neil. No sir.

When I hear people say, “If you can wrap your head around it,” I want to wrap their heads around something, like a pole.

There’s no “wrapping.” There’s no heads going around.

Don’t preach to us about “Really?” and then wrap our heads around things.

You crumbled a bit of civilization off there yourself.

Really.

JERRY SEINFELD
New York, Oct. 2, 2012

42 comments:

auntliddy said...

F*cking hilarious!

DJane said...

Yes!!

The said...

Good for Seinfeld!

shauniebear said...

I love Jerry. Really.

Honey West said...

I agree with the author! His next article should be about the overuse of "super", as in "I'm super excited" or "That was super fun"! When I hear adults say it they sound like overgrown kids.

Amber said...

I wonder if Neil "could care less" about Jerry's response. *stabstabstab* Kudos, JS.

nolachickee said...

I too would like to wrap people's heads around inanimate objects when they use that phrase. Really!

Munch said...

I really don't mind the use of really. Really. Seriously. I've missed Seinfeld. But while we're at it, can we have a ban on people adding inappropriate LOLs to everything? "I saw a car crash today LOL".

rejectedcarebear said...

Haha! Welcome back amber- hope you enjoyed your trip!

Amber said...

@rej - Thank you!! I did. My BF gave me my bday gift early - he got us tickets to see Leonard Cohen @ L'Olympia. There aren't enough words in any language to describe how incredible it was!

dia papaya said...

AMBER!!

I am super excited that you are back! I really, really, like really wanna to hear about your super fabulous trip! ;)

dia papaya said...

Leonard Cohen!!! OMG! I really love that man. I seriously, really do, OK.

Amber said...

Aww thanks so much, dia! I will have to figure out a way to tell you about it that does not involve hijacking a thread here!

GemTwist said...

I hate that!!!!

lol.

Patty said...

OMG, that is soooo wicked awesome!

AKM said...

I can't wrap my head around why he felt compelled to write this. *shrug*

bflogurl said...

Great response!

Lucas said...

On Leonard Cohen...I used to date a girl who really, really liked to listen to his music during sexy times. Which I didn't find sexy. At all. Probably because she particularly like "Everybody Knows" and my paranoid mind kept thinking she was trying to tell me something. Like that I wasn't as sneaky as I thought I was. I was such a mess in my mid-20s. Really.

Jason Blue Eyes said...

Amer - I saw Leonard 4 years ago for my birthday. It was amazing. He Ran around the stage, he jumped in place - unreal for a 74 year old man - and he performed for over 3 hours with a 20 minute break halfway through. He makes all the pissy little runts like Bieber and those 1/2 his age look bad. Enjoy. I know you will.

AKM said...

Lucas, I have almost an identical story. Leonard Cohen is someone whom I would LIKE to like or at least appreciate, but a psycho ex totally ruined him for me. Go figure.

AKM said...

(But I do adore "Hallelujah" when it's done by Jeff Buckley.)

Amber said...

@ Lucas - "Everybody Knows" is NOT sexy at all! Hahaha. "A Thousand Kisses Deep" is, though.

@ Jason - we went on Saturday! (Just got back from Paris yesterday.) Doors opened at 8, show started at 8:10 and went til 12 with a 20 minute break. And, like you said, he SKIPPED on and off stage and was dropping to his knees while singing. He was so beyond gracious, and really put the spotlight on the musicians performing with him. He was incredible. Only song I was sad he didn't do, was "Chelsea Hotel No. 2", but I think he doesn't do it anymore at all after he spilled the beans about it.

fancyscreenname said...

That was REALLY funny....

BubbleKitten said...

I really like your avi, like, really really like it super much! ;)

But seriously, I do think its adorable

SusanB said...

I have no problem with "really". I have a serious problem with "amazing" and "awesome".

PS said...

SusanB - I couldn't agree more. I'll take all of society's use of "really" over Katie Holme's 2007-2011 singular over use of the word "amazing" any day of the week. And, JS - you've finally made me forgive you for calling that poor recipe author a nutjob for your wife lifting all her recipes. You were kinda a bully. But, I also see you're still pretty funny. No, really. Just, no more bullying. Thanks.

Lola said...

Much like my precious ellipses, "Really?" can say so much with so little.

Lola said...

I too, hate the overuse of LOL. I have a friend who's texts look like this:

I went shopping today LOL and got some dinner LOL I was so hungry LOL so I'm glad I was able to eat LOL.*

Really? You were that happy the whole time? Did people look at you funny while you were laughing down the aisle?

(*except really(!) it looks like this: I wnt shping 2day lol gt dinnr lol ws so hngry lol gld ws able 2 eat lol)

auntliddy said...

Ut-oh, i think im guilty of this!

dia papaya said...

So Lola, your friend is really auntliddy? LOL ;)

You know I love ya auntieL

MadLyb said...

That was really, really lovely!

Lola said...

@dia...

Yes, but I didn't want to call her out personally or anything.

(sorry, auntliddy. ;P )

kathrynnova said...

'really' doesn't bother me at all. 'right?' does. 'i know, riiight?' i recently met a guy who would apply this to every conversational response. he sounded like a total dumbfuck.

Laura said...

Don't even get me started on "um" or "like". " Really" seems like a walk in the park in comparison.

E Gee Be said...

Welcome back, amber! Hope your aris adventure was amazing, and if you do high jack another thread to talk about your trip, lmk, cause I have always dreamed of visiting Paris....
And yes! To the LOL thing...it is a running joke with my peeps that we actually refuse to type ths, even when we are legit laughing out loud. People use it in the weirdest way...(much like I do with my thre dots ...)

dia papaya said...

E Gee Be - I live for the dots.... And explanation points!!!!

dia papaya said...

Hugs to auntliddy! She knows we need an AL translator button sometimes for her wacky typing. ;)

E Gee Be said...

Thanks for getting this, especially after all my typos!! (Extra ! Just for those who don't judge me!)


bonnie lee said...

"lol" and "like"....especially "like"...like this...like that...like...totally

bonnie lee said...

yes...the three dots...I like live for the three dots...lol...really really amaaaaaaazing....okay ... stick a fork in me

Brown Lori said...

haha! i hate that term, "wrap my head around it' i just cant help but thinking weird things. really? yeah that term IS annoying. i say.

NYCGirl said...

Heh, I can just hear him saying, "There’s no “wrapping.” There’s no heads going around." Seinfeld forever!