Tag: conversation

Oct/Nov 2010 – Phatic Expressions and Failure

In linguistics, a phatic expression is one whose only function is to perform a social task, as opposed to conveying information. The question “how are you?” is usually an automatic component of a social encounter. If you are like most people, either your reply is a quick one-word answer (eg. “not bad” or “good”) or…

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June/July 2009 – Debt Collectors: bad cop, good cop

Debt collectors: bad cop, good cop all in one JAMES FUSSELL McClatchey Newspapers KANSAS CITY, MO. There’s a sign in Jim Coy’s otherwise bland office that reads: “God’s last name is not damn.” People come in and they’re upset, and they use profanities,” Coy said. “So we decided to put the sign up.” Debt collection…

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