Tuesday, February 27, 2007


mi·nu·ti·a - [mi-noo-shee-uh, -shuh, -nyoo-] noun, plural Usually, minutiae. precise details; small or trifling matters: the minutiae of his craft.

Sitting at dinner the other evening, my husband commented that having a blog is like having a journal, and he encouraged me to print and save all my posts in a binder. I agreed that it would be a good idea to save them, but that blog posts about bathtubs and body pillows is not what I would exactly include in a journal. He responded that its exactly the right material, and that it’s the minutiae of daily life that depict who a person is.

Minutiae. I was convinced that such a word was entirely made up. We even bet “cleaning the bathroom” on who was right, whether the word existed or not.

Much to my surprise, not half an hour later we heard the word used in a Seinfeld episode. Well, I clean bathrooms anyway, so who cares that I was wrong. It should make sense to hear it on Seinfeld. That’s the whole basis of the show. A show about nothing. And yet we love it so much! Here’s the first paragraph of Jerry’s Biography:

The most successful and influential comedian of his generation, Jerry Seinfeld's brilliant observational riffs on the minutiae of everyday life formed the basis of the television classic Seinfeld, the quintessential sitcom of the 1990s and one of the most beloved series in the history of the medium.

Well, here’s part of the transcript from the episode we watched. It’s “The Bizarro Jerry” where Elaine meets a group of three people who are in every way the opposites of Jerry, George, and Kramer. Enjoy a laugh.

ELAINE: What? What is goin' on with you two?

JERRY: Oh, I don't wanna talk about it..

ELAINE: All right, listen. Have you seen my addre-- [sees address book on counter] -ah! There it is. Okay. I got it. I'll see you later. [leaving]

JERRY: Hey! Wait! Wait! Wait a second! Where you goin'? I-I hardly ever see you anymore.

ELAINE: [stops, pause] Well, I. [a little ashamed] I guess I been at Reggie's..

JERRY: The Bizarro coffee shop?

ELAINE: Kevin and his friends are nice people! They do good things. They read..

JERRY: I read.

ELAINE: Books, Jerry.

JERRY: [pause] Oh. Big deal..

ELAINE: Well! I can't spend the rest of my life coming into this stinking apartment every ten minutes to pore over the, excruciating minutia, of every, single, daily event..

JERRY: {What's goin' on,} like yesterday, I go to the bank to make a deposit, an' the teller gives me this look, like--

ELAINE: I'll see you later man. I gotta go.

JERRY: [frustrated, to self] The whole system is breakin' down!

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