George Carlin (1937-2008)

George will be sorely missed, and my fear is that, thanks to email forwards, he will be the most grossly mis-quoted comedian of our time. I wish there were some resource that had a list of things he didn’t say. I’ve tried to find a few, but with the Internet, how can you ever be sure unless it’s listed on The only thing they’ve debunked is the “Bad American” email forward.

Here is one of my all time favorites from George. Caution: “strong” language ahead:

But remember, and this is a little soapbox of mine: words in and of themselves are not magic and cannot hurt you. Context is everything. There are plenty of words that you have no good reason to use in polite society[1], but that does not make them “bad.”[2] Similarly, there is no quantifiable difference between “crap” and “sh*t”[3] aside from the reactions that people cause within themselves. And so the only reason not to use “sh*t” in polite conversation is if you think you are conversing with those whose own perceptions might cause themselves discomfort.

1.) Racial slurs, for example.
2.) Quite the contrary, as my multi-cultural friends will attest to having great fun tossing around ethnic put-downs like so much expired ordnance.
3.) I am using the asterisk here to avoid getting pinged by various systems’ content blockers.

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