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October 6, 2015

Buffy did not invent the phrase "not so much"

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 10th 2006 4:30PM
BuffyI'm not sure what is more infuriating about this article, the fact that they try to convince us that the phrase "not so much" was first used on Mad About You and Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or the fact that anyone in the world actually thought that the phrase "yada yada yada" was invented by the people at Seinfeld.

When you get older, you begin to realize how fast pop culture moves and what a short memory a lot of people have when it comes to TV shows, movies, and music. I (and other people I know) was using the phrase "not so much" in the 1980s, so it must have been around even before then. And as for "Yada yada yada," the article does point out that it was used by Lenny Bruce in the 60s, and I bet that it didn't originate with him.

I think people want to make pop culture more current and hold it close to them, call it their own. . That doesn't mean that the increased usage of "not so much" on Buffy and The Daily Show isn't an important thing. The more something is used, the more important it becomes. But that's not the same as creating it or being the first. (Side note: Yes, that is our Joel Keller quoted in the piece!)

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Whenever I verbally do a list, I always do it the way Paul Reiser did it on "Mad About You": A) is the first item on the list, and 2) is the second item.

And, Daniel Weiss, who wrote the article, is a good guy. Just wish he used more of the interview I had with him. Oh, well; at least he got my age right.

November 11 2006 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well i know that Seinfeld dident invint the prhase but in my book they made it funny!!! When anyone say it i instantly think of Seinfeld!!

November 11 2006 at 1:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV

People generally confuse "inventing" with "making popular". Buffy did a lot of things, but make up phrases was not one of them.

November 10 2006 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about Buffy's "______ much?" (as in "paranoid much?)

November 10 2006 at 7:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To be fair, they say that Buffy POPULARIZED the phrase, not that they invented it. And think about it, everyone knew about "yada yada" before the Seinfeld episode, but its usage skyrocketed afterwards.

November 10 2006 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you're gonna credit Mad About You with any linguistic contribution I would pick Paul Riser's, "This is what I'm saying."

November 10 2006 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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