Literal-Minded

Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Kathy Griffin, Pro Bono Divorce Attorney

Posted by Neal on June 17, 2008

In last week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, I read an article about one Kathy Griffin, who had a supporting role on a sitcom that I never watched, and who now has a reality show called My Life on the D-List. Near the end of the article, I read:

Whether you love or loathe Griffin’s obnoxious, self-absorbed persona, it’s hard not to appreciate the amount of work she puts into [her show]. Over the last two seasons, she came under mortar fire during a morale-boosting visit with soldiers in Iraq, met with women on death row, finalized a painful divorce, …

I thought, “Wow! She’s an attorney, too?” I wondered whose divorce she had finalized. Heck, if she was qualified to finalize divorces, painful or amicable (or both), why wasn’t she doing that full-time and making probably more money she would with a reality show and concert performances?

Then I came to the end of the sentence:

… and traveled to Ireland to spread the ashes of her father, who died in 2007. (Nicholas Fonseca, “The Most Polarizing Woman in Hollywood,” Entertainment Weekly, Jun 13, 2008, p. 38 )

That last verb phrase was what brought me around to realize that the painful divorce she finalized must have been her own. Since that makes more sense anyway, what was it that led me to the Kathy-Griffin-moonlighting-as-a-divorce-lawyer scenario? Reviewing the first two VPs in the list, I see that I was primed to expect selfless humanitarian deeds: boosting soldiers’ morale … visiting death-row prisoners … offering pro bono legal assistance to help battered women escape abusive marriages. But spreading the ashes of one’s father is definitely a personal rather than a charitable undertaking, and when I came to it, I was forced to recategorize the list, from noble acts to emotionally demanding acts in general.

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5 Responses to “Kathy Griffin, Pro Bono Divorce Attorney”

  1. viola said

    Based on her sarcastic, uninhibited tongue alone, I would have thought the same thing; but then, isn’t it true that most people have at least a hint of exposed, soft underbelly beneath all that armour?

  2. viola said

    Neal: This is off-subject, but perhaps would be an enhancement to your “Resources.” I’m looking for a great online thesaurus. Do you have any recommendations?

  3. Neal said

    Well, there’s Visual Thesaurus, a subscription service for $20 per year. I’ve only tried the demo, though. Beyond that, I don’t know.

  4. viola said

    Thanks!

  5. Deana Mathers said

    Help!

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