Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Safe at home

As a follow up to my brief comments on George Carlin's death, I bring your attention to this wonderful clip (via Norm) in which he examines the linguistic differences between baseball and (American) football.

I think it demonstrates one of the qualities that I was trying to get at in my response to Francis's astute question about what distinguished Carlin from countless other ranters in the media and online.

Although anger and swearing were key parts of Carlin's act, they were not the point at which his talent ended. He was also a subtle observer (and manipulator) of language.

I don't know the rest of the show in which the baseball/football comparisons are made, but I'm wondering: does anyone think they can identify which sport Carlin preferred after watching that?

I have the feeling that partisans of either sport could walk away from that portion of the act and feel confirmed in their prejudices.

(In my experience, the baseball/football divide can sometimes be a very wide one. Declaration of interest: I used to be far more a baseball fan and really had no interest in football. In recent years, however, I have been more open to seeing the merits of football. I am aware of how utterly unimportant this topic is, but I thought I'd mention it...)

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