The first thing I read this morning was the news about George Carlin, who, for as long as I can remember, was my favorite comic. And not just because he was in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure -- one of my favorite movies -- but because he was, at heart, a grammarian. He is one of the first people who got me thinking about words -- sometimes the dirty ones -- in a deeper way.
Here's a story: In 11th grade, some friends and I made a movie. It started out as a bunch of planned out sketches, but eventually broke down into us roaming around the halls, videotaping whatever amused us at the time. And in a tribute to Heathers, we decided to take lunchtime polls. This was right after I discovered George Carlin. So my contribution to the poll questions was first to steal "Why do you park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?" and later, continuing down the linguistic path, to open to random pages of the dictionary and to ask people to come up with definitions of the more unusual words.