Sunday, January 4, 2009
Remember the Seinfeld episode where George is scarfing down a seafood cocktail and a co-worker tells him, "The oceans called; they're running out of shrimp"? And George spends the rest of the episode trying to recreate the encounter so he can deliver the retort, "Well, the jerk-store called; they're running out of you!"
The punchline is that George's retort doesn't work because it really isn't all that funny--in fact, none of George's friends, from Jerry, to Elaine, to Kramer, think it's funny, and even George himself doesn't really laugh at it; he's just obsessed with getting a chance to deliver it.
You ever come across similar words or phrases? Something only a friend, family member, or acquaintance (or maybe even you) thinks is funny but everyone else finds trite or obnoxious.
Our parents use the term "'puter" to refer to a computer. They've been doing it for years, and as far as we know, it's never gotten a laugh. We don't find it funny, our sister doesn't find it funny--we don't think either of them finds it funny. But for some weird reason they still use it.