My alarm went off this morning to NPR, as it usually does. The first sentence that greeted me? “George Carlin, legendary comedian, has died at the age of 71.”
His book, “Brain Droppings,” is one of my favorites. It is the kind of book that I’ll pick up, open to any page, and laugh out loud. Or nod in agreement. He was great at pointing out common errors in grammar, or stupid turns of phrase. And so, in honor of him, here are a few choice sections.
“If something in the future is canceled, what is canceled? What has really happened? Something that didn’t occur yet is now never going to occur at all. Does that qualify as an event?”
“I know I’m fighting a losing battle with this one, but I refuse to surrender: Collapsing a building with explosives is not an implosion. An implosion is a very specific scientific phenomenon. The collapsing of a building with explosives is the collapsing of a building with explosives. The explosives explode, and the building collapses inwardly. That is not an implosion. It is an inward collapsing of a building, following a series of smaller explosions designed to make it collapse inwardly. Period.”
“A scary dream makes your heart beat faster. Why doesn’t the part of your brain that controls your heartbeat realize that another part of your brain is making the whole thing up? Don’t these people communicate?”
“You know what you never see? A really interesting set of twins.”
“Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don’t have time for all that.”