Saturday, March 5, 2016

The time Simpson sounded like Carlin

          G. G. Simpson loved words, and used them exceedingly well. He kept the multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary behind his writing desk. He also subscribed to the updates that the OED regularly published.

           One day when I arrived, he was particularly gleeful because he had gotten a volume of the updates, which included slang usages. He showed me the book, which was the volume S.

           I smiled politely, and he explained that this was the first volume of the OED updates that he had received. I smiled politely again. And he said, and I’ll swear to this on a stack of first editions of The Origin of Species, “It means that I have ‘shit’ but I haven’t gotten ‘fuck’ yet!”



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