Saturday, January 29, 2011

Phatic speech

Phatic speech is speech that exists to fulfill a social task, not to convey some meaning.  For example "what's up?" doesn't necessarily happen so that you can find out what's up.  Sometimes it's just a way to say "I acknowledge you."  Other phatic phrases can be for social grooming or making friends.

I think it would be cool if we had more phatic speech.  Like this:
Me: What's up?
You: How's it going?
Me: Four score and seven years ago,
You: Our fathers brought forth on this continent
Me: A new nation, conceived in liberty
You: And dedicated to the proposition
After you finish the Gettysburg Address, high fives are in order, and then you're instant friends.

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