Comedian Jerry Seinfeld took the time from his busy schedule on this rainy Tuesday afternoon to register a formal complaint with a letter to the editor about Neil Genzlinger’s rant in today’s New York Times. Mr. Genzlinger wrote about the overuse of the word “really” when “delivered with a high-pitched sneer to indicate a contempt so complete that it requires no clarification.”
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.
Mr. Seinfeld goes on to note that he himself used the expression in a Saturday Night Live skit with Seth Meyers a few years back. “It was a blast and the audience loved it.” Presumably, back in 2010, when Mr. Seinfeld appeared on SNL, the phrase was still new and hadn’t yet come to the attention (or ire) of Mr. Genzlinger.
“Civilization crumbles a little bit almost every time I turn on the television, and a single word-and-punctuation-mark combination is inflicting the damage,” Mr. Genzlinger wrote.
“You crumbled a bit of civilization off there yourself,” Mr. Seinfeld responded.
Really (we obviously had to get that in).