Jerry Seinfeld read Neil Genzlinger's story in the New York Times Monday and asked himself one thing: Really?
The arts and entertainment reporter wrote a column bemoaning the overuse of the snarky "Really?" in scripted television, hyperbolically claiming it's "undoing 2,000 years' worth of human progress."
This struck the comedian as remarkably inane.
"Really, Neil? Really? You're upset about too many people saying 'Really?'? I mean, really," Seinfeld wrote in a letter to the editor, published Tuesday morning. "OK, fine, when it's used in scripted media, it is a little lazy. But comedy writers are lazy. You're not fixing that."
Perhaps Seinfeld took the critic's rant as an affront.
"I did a 'Saturday Night Live Weekend Update' segment titled 'Really!?!' with Seth Meyers a few years ago," Seinfeld wrote. "It was a blast, and the audience loved it."
And when Genzlinger illustrated the original meaning of the loathed word, as an exclamation of wonder and disbelief, he added insult to injury.
He used a phrase Seinfeld found not just loathsome, but nonsensical.
When explaining how early observers of Albert Einstein's work must have perceived the theory of relativity, he wrote: "Wrap your head around it."
"Are you kidding? No, no, no, Neil. No sir," Seinfeld wrote. "When I hear people say, 'If you can wrap your head around it,' I want to wrap their heads around something, like a pole."
"Don't preach to us about 'Really?' and then wrap our heads around things," he added.
Before anyone carps about the use of this one: Ouch.