Mavis Staples, “I Like The Things About Me” (R. Staples & M. Stubbs), One True Vine, 6/13
Language, no matter how much it’s used, never seems to get used up. Take this sentence, for instance, which opens Donald Ray Pollock’s story collection Knockemstiff: “My father showed me how to hurt a man one August night at the Torch Drive-in when I was seven years old.” Not one of these words is unusual, nor is the syntax. But this particular set of words, in this particular order, never existed before. How improbable is that?