Neil Genzlinger on the decay of Western civilization and the modern use of “really”:
“Really?” was once an expression of wonderment that also acknowledged a gap in the user’s knowledge. Back when Einstein first announced that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, the “Reallys?” that resulted were saying: “I am astounded by your discovery, so much so that I can scarcely wrap my head around it. You, sir, are a genius.”
Jerry Seinfeld responds:
When I hear people say, “If you can wrap your head around it,” I want to wrap their heads around something, like a pole.
There’s no “wrapping.” There’s no heads going around.
Don’t preach to us about “Really?” and then wrap our heads around things.