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Jerry Seinfeld Defends Use Of 'Really' In Letter To NY Times

Jerry Seinfeld is defending the use of the world 'really' after a New York Times critic complained in a recent column that the R-word was "really, really overused."

"A note to Neil Genzlinger, 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," writes Seinfeld.

"Really, Neil? Really? You're upset about too many people saying, 'Really?'? I mean, really."

Genzlinger had lamented that comedy writers who use the word are "undoing 2,000 years' worth of human progress."

"OK, fine, when it's used in scripted media, it is a little lazy," admits Seinfeld. "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."

He also mocked Genzlinger's use of the phrase "wrap my head around it."

"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."

The amusingly outraged letter itself uses the word ten times.

October 4, 2012 |

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