Somewhat irreverent theories on the origins of the alphabet

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/03/21 03:31 -04:00, original URI:

A friend of mine got me the new-ish 3-disc collection from the comedian Gallagher.

In Melon Crazy, at 6:48 into the show, he points out that we "...park in a driveway and drive in a parkway".

Like I said before. :-)

Now Melon Crazy dates back to 1984, so maybe Steven Wright said it first or maybe not (not sure when Steven first said it, and none of the web sites that list the quote bother to say where it is from -- I hate unattributed quotes sometimes, it encourages the logic that attributes Elmo's Got a Gun to Weird Al Yankovic).

Linguistic highlights include his theories about the origins of the alphabet (from Over Your Head) -- "...based on some kind of a bookkeeper's code to keep the Jews' and the Egyptians' nose out of the Phoenician cattle business".

Or in another show when he talked about the order and why it started with ΑΒΓΔ -- "ah beh gu dae -- have a good day!"

Very silly, but definitely fun....

So, anyone know when (well, what show) Steven Wright first made the driveway/parkway observation? I know now that I wasn't crazy (or if I am then it is for other stuff, not for this), now I am just curious who said it first....


This post brought to you by Β (U+0392, GREEK CAPITAL LETTER BETA)

Maurits [MSFT] on 22 Mar 2007 12:18 AM:

WikiQuote leans toward Gallagher - they have a slightly different wording, though.

Hey, what do you expect from a culture that *drives* on *parkways* and *parks* on *driveways*?

Maurits [MSFT] on 22 Mar 2007 12:26 AM:

Perhaps the Steven Wright attributions are due to confusion with the real Steven Wright joke "My neighbor has a circular driveway... he can't get out?" (not exact wording)

There are also plenty of websites that attribute the driveway/parkway thing to George Carlin, but for some reason *everything* gets attributed to George Carlin eventually.

JamesCurran on 23 Mar 2007 4:42 PM:

I'm quite sure the driveway/parkway think goes back to at least the 70s, when Carlin was big, Gallagher was just starting out,  and Wright hadn't started yet.

Michael S. Kaplan on 24 Mar 2007 11:06 AM:

Kind of funny how, especially in the context of the Studio 60 episode The West Coast Delay, a joke could be stolen with such impunity, huh? :-)

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2011/07/25 Why are the short names longer than than long names?

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