Born Alone, Die Alone: What Does This Mean?

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Oct 24 20:27:26 UTC 2011

Sorry, Wilson.  I was focusing on a very literal level.  I think we all have a sense of what Jobs meant on an existential level.

Fred Shapiro

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Wilson Gray [hwgray at GMAIL.COM]
Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: Born Alone, Die Alone: What Does This Mean?

On Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM, Ben Zimmer
<bgzimmer at> wrote:
> Other variations on the theme include "You're born naked, you die
> naked" and "You're born broke, you die broke" (i.e., you can't take it
> with you, or as John Lennon put it, you don't take nothing with you
> but your soul).

Isn't it the case that Jobs was never acknowledged by his biological
father and given up for adoption by his mother? And cf. the old blues,
"God Bless The Child"?

I don't that Jobs had in mind being physically alone, in the literal
sense. If mere physical loneliness is the only kind of loneliness that
a person has experienced, then he's a "fortunate son," luckier than
99.44% of the rest of mankind.

How can Jobs's observation possibly be hard to understand?! Geez!

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint
to come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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