|Flowers and sky|
I learned a new word today: phatic. It refers to "small talk," or the things we say to each other that start off a conversation, such as "How are you?" Nobody really wants to know how you are, since that's not usually the intent of the phrase. It's more often something we say to one another just to get conversations going. There's an interesting article in the Atlantic (I think you need to pay for a subscription in order to read this article, but I found it fascinating if you can get it.) I was intrigued by the title, which is Why People Keep Asking Which Vaccine You Got.
It turns out, according to the author, that it's simply a way to get the conversational ball rolling, and these days, it's the vaccine and the pandemic that is on most people's minds.
Suddenly, asking “How are you?” involved really and truly asking the question, whether you meant to or not. Who knows, after all, if the other party (or someone in their family) might be sick, or has lost their job, or has even just reached a new low of sorrow and terror.
Which takes that question out of the mundane, ordinary world we used to know, and reminds us all that these are not ordinary times. Vaccine small talk has given us something to talk about, and I am truly wondering how we are managing during these remarkable times. We won't soon forget about how we coped with this period of time. Phatic speech might have changed in some ways, but still...
Which one did you get? I got the Pfizer vaccine.
We did too! Got our last one last week. Our daughter got her 1st Moderna and got chills, fever, fatigue. We didn't have any after effects from Pfizer.ReplyDelete
I have long objected to "How are you?" as a greeting. I frequently don't answer, but just say "Hi", I guess because I have never really liked small talk and if you ask how I am I at least used to expect they they really wanted to know. I do.ReplyDelete
I am also weary of Covid talk. We got the Pfizer vaccine. I just want more people to get the vaccine faster, but I know I need to be patient, and careful too, because the variants might still get us. Sigh.
My husband has his appointment, I can book mine on Thursday. It will be such a relief to have at least one shot.ReplyDelete
Phatic speech -- never heard of it. Now I have.ReplyDelete
We will have to think of some different questions and answers.ReplyDelete
I have no idea when I'll be vaccinated. Not soon, anyway.ReplyDelete
DJan - aloha from Kay Musings Kansas friend Linda. Might you please advise which resource to use to start the Five Tibetan Rites? Google has several. I really need to get in shape, safely. If you and Honolulu Aunty adhere to these Rites, it must be really good! (I've got 14 jumps in my 20s; congrats on your's in your 70s!) Linda in KansasReplyDelete
My vocabulary just increased also with 'phatic speech'. I admit, sometimes it is just reflex and if I really want to know, I'll pinpoint it. Like "How is that new knee doing?"ReplyDelete
I got the Moderna and not the first problem. Just glad it is done and that most of the people I know are also protected. A good feeling.
I was worked with a person who responded (in full) to phatic questions. When asked 'how are you?' she would tell you everything - including somethings you really didn't want to know about her digestive systems.ReplyDelete
Our vaccine program is slow. So far it isn't included in any conversations I have heard.
I just say Good morning/afternoon when someone tries to make small talk. That new word seems a bit on the life side...too close to phallic.ReplyDelete
Funny post. BTW, I got the Moderna.ReplyDelete
Moderna. I usually just say hello. :)ReplyDelete
Moderna...oh "I am Fine, and how are you?" Some times I just say fine as frogs hair...that stumps some people.ReplyDelete
Now that spring is here we can open with: It's a nice day, isn't it! Anyway, I got the Pfizer.ReplyDelete
We received the Pfizer and Man-Child got the Moderna.ReplyDelete
Dear Jan and Friends, no vaccine, don't want one. If i get sick, will call off work, stay home and drink orange juice.ReplyDelete
Well I learnt a new word today but will I remember it? Astra zeneka for me.ReplyDelete
Moderna. Other phatics are, "Sure is a beautiful day", "What's up?", "Sup?", "How's it going?".ReplyDelete
As we all are getting older, I find myself regretting when I ask the phatic, "How are you?" to certain friends. One, in particular will start off with all of her gripes and problems as well as the side shoots of each point. I almost feel like I have to be her therapist, and am failing.ReplyDelete
We all got Pfizer at our house. Seems like most people I ask on Oahu have gotten Pfizer, but my cousins on Kauai got Moderna. I guess we're all asking that to see what kind of reactions people got with each vaccine. I have a friend who keeps sending me one line texts pretty regularly saying "How are you doing?" I've even replied, "Fine, how about you?" :-)ReplyDelete