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amputation and originality

May 26, 2009

Q. How much does an amputation cost?
A. An arm and a leg.

Besides thinking it chuckle-worthy, another reason for posting this corny joke is to pose the question: What is original?

I came up with this joke today, seemingly without outside influences. But seriously, there is no way that no one else has ever thought of it, since “It cost an arm and a leg,” is a common expression. So what is original, and can you ever really claim that something is?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2009 11:46 pm

    Unless God is the one making the joke (i.e. the creation of the Platypus), I would say that it is entirely not possible to be truly original – unless of course I went and said something like “greeeeeegggggargargargarrackkkaakakakakakakkakpizzzzooooowwpewpewpew
    barackobamaduckpants” at a dinner party while balancing on top of a flaming log I just took out of the fireplace.

  2. Tony permalink
    May 27, 2009 6:56 am

    I’ve done things like what Trenton suggests…minus the flaming log. All to say I said something no one else has ever said. The problem is, it’s never very impressive. I think originality and impressive together are the key. I can be original in something, but if at some common level it’s not impressive, it’s not worth talking about (or at least I don’t get much joy out of it). I can do something impressive, but if it’s not original, I’ll know it was just a copy (others might not).

    Regarding originality, it does seem that anything we create that we with might be original, has some elements that aren’t. So, maybe the answer to your question is no, we can create something that it entirely original (?).

  3. scottjisaok permalink
    May 27, 2009 7:06 am

    This reminds me of Garden State.

    • May 27, 2009 4:35 pm

      I hear about that movie all the time, but have never seen it. I better get it on Netflix so I can know what’s up.

  4. Stephanie G. permalink
    May 27, 2009 7:57 am

    Take Ice, Ice Baby for example. Vanilla Ice thought he was so original with his rhymes and beats, but, wouldn’t ya know, his beats sound JUST like the ones from Queen’s Under Pressure. Go figure.

  5. May 27, 2009 10:04 am

    Some things are original – you just never know which ones.

    So make no claims without disclaimers.

  6. May 27, 2009 5:34 pm

    And why is it that we take so much more satisfaction in something we do that is original? Even my son (12) thinks that any cool thing we do is 10x more cool if I come up with the idea rather than find it somewhere. What’s that all about?

  7. May 27, 2009 5:45 pm

    I had Garden State in my mind when I wrote that Scott.

  8. May 28, 2009 6:15 pm

    Well, biblically speaking…there’s nothing new under the sun :)LOL


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