WORDS ABOUT WORDS
The exuberance that leads human beings to create and enjoy new language is part of our nature. Since lingo is pithy and often funny, it adds freshness and zest to life. ... Humorist S. J. Perelman once got in a traffic accident that wrecked his car. He quickly forgot being upset when a mechanic at the repair garage described his car as "totaled." Perelman, who had never heard this term, was nearly ecstatic. "Totaled!" he went around repeating. "Totaled!" The word was perfect.
Jerry Dunn, American writer, Idiom Savant, 1997
Posted on September 23, 1998 at 8:09 PM