Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 15:21:15 EDT
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: "Bless you"
Mark Mandel writes:
Beverly Flanigan writes:
On "Bless you" specifically: It is of course intended as a
"tail wag" (referred to generally as phatic communication).
Since "phatic" means 'relating to speech', that expression always
looked strange to me, until I discovered that its originator had
not written it! (Whoever it was) wrote "phatic *communion*", which
[It was Branislaw Malinowski --LH]
was misread and misquoted by generations of linguists more ready
to see a word relating to the transmission of information (v.s.)
than to the closeness of souls.