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You Cannot Have a “Forest Lawn”

The other day, I heard a radio ad for Forest Lawn Memorial Park. For those living outside of Southern California, Forest Lawn is a chain of mortuaries and cemeteries. Two of its locations, Hollywood Hills and Glendale, are known for having numerous celebrities buried there. Some graves, such as Errol Flynn, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Casey Stengel, Chico Marx, Walt Disney, Larry Fine and Spencer Tracy, are in public areas; others, such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Michael Jackson, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ed Wynn and Keenan Wynn are private and not always accessible (if you don’t recognize these names, look them up).

There actually are books that create tours so people can see these famous people’s final resting places, although Forest Lawn does not cooperate, and you could be arrested for trespassing if you are found in a private area.

But in listening to the ad, I wondered if “Forest Lawn” was an oxymoron. You can’t possibly have a forest lawn, can you?

Forest means “a dense growth of trees and underbrush covering a large tract.” Lawn means “an open space between woods” and “ground that is covered with grass and kept mowed.” Underbrush is not kept mowed. Woods and forest are synonyms.

So, no you can’t. And for what it’s worth, none of my family is or will be buried there. For one, Forest Lawn denied black, Jewish and Chinese burials for years. Second, everybody is at Mt Sinai.

Until next time! Use the right words!

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October 5, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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