Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 11:33:35 -0500

From: Thomas Creswell creswell[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CROWN.NET

Subject: Re: "How are you doing?"

Ron Butters wrote:

"How are you doing?" does have some kind of primary communicative function it

seems to me, i.e., it means something like 'I am willing to have a

conversation with you and am soliciting your first conversational move'. Of

course, it is not always sincere.

Yes, and the usual response is something like "OK" or "Fine" or "Hanging

in," evem from a hospital bed. So much for the solicitation of first

conversational moves. Anyone who goes into greater detail is usually

classified as a literal-minded bore.