Tuesday, June 24, 2008
In the grammar game, there's one well-kept secret that's better kept than all the others. It eludes every strict schoolmarm who would tell you you can't use "nauseous" to mean "nauseated." It's unknown to every pinch-faced pedant who demands you can't end a sentence with a preposition. It's a mystery to every snob who takes "whom" too seriously.
The secret is this: Language is not just a tool, it's also a toy. Words are fun. They present infinite opportunities not just for expression but for exploration. For play.
There was one man who got this better than anyone else. A man who has been called comedy's first true linguist. Who did more than any other to spread the word about just how much fun words can be.
Rest in peace, Mr. Carlin.