Thursday, October 05, 2006

Turns out I'm not into phatic

phatic (FAT-ik)

Relating to a communication meant to generate an atmosphere of social relationship rather than to convey some information.

When you bump into your neighbor on your way out and say, "How are ya?" you're engaging in phatic communion. The idea is not to inquire your neighbor's state of affairs but simply to create a feeling of shared goodwill. Later, at work, when you discuss weather with someone at the water cooler, it's the same idea.

So that's what it is. And I'm the one who really answers and expects a proper answer too.

Now that I know the rules, I'll have to be more phatic!

1 comment:

  1. i always wondered what that was called. when you ask someone "how are you" and you really aren't asking them that as much as just being police. phatic. good to know


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