“How long have you been waiting to squeeze that into a conversation?”

An incisive question to use on those who so delight in their “word of the day” calendar, they sound like Alex Trebek vocalizing an obscure dictionary entry on Jeopardy. They have discovered what the word obstreperous means, and they have been waiting to wave it in your face.

George did this in a conversation with Jerry about the relationship between students and cleaning. “It’s anathema,” George said. At Jerry’s quizzical look, George added, “They don’t like it.” This was Jerry’s retort.

This is also your alternative to thinking, after hearing someone use a word like “coquettish” or “haberdasher,” I need to go look that up. No. You don’t. Because if you find that word in the dictionary–make no mistake–it will perch itself on a peg somewhere in your brain and squawk at you during some future conversation, signaling This is the perfect moment to squeeze in that word. No. It won’t be.

And if you go for it anyway, guess what those around you will be thinking.

From “The Statue”
Episode 10, Season 2
Seinfeld Volume 1, Disc 3
Timecode for the scene: 2:15

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