Yes, people, this is probably the biggest debate you’ll be hearing all day.
Well, not REALLY.
But the use of the word “Really?!” became a hot topic over the last few days, after New York Times television critic Neil Genzlinger wrote an editorial piece about it on Monday.
Genzlinger claims that saying “Really?!” (with a snarky tone), or as he describes, the expression that is “delivered with a high-pitched sneer to indicate a contempt so complete that it requires no clarification,” is an epidemic that shows of “lazy writing” on scripted shows: “why do the hard work of spinning meaningful dialogue when you can grab a cheap laugh with a single word?” and how it has infiltrated our everyday dialect, and the situation is so grim, that “it’s undoing 2,000 years’ worth of human progress.”
The response to the article came from non-other than comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who in an editorial to New York Times admitted that while comedic writers may be lazy, but adds: “If you’re a writer, fine, don’t use it. But in conversation it is fun to say. I did a “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update” segment titled “Really!?!” with Seth Meyers a few years ago. It was a blast and the audience loved it.”
Seinfeld’s article mentioned the word “really” a dozen times and has gone viral.
Okay, I’ll say it too.
Neil Genzlinger, REALLY?
Here’s Seinfeld’s “SNL” appearance: