Date: Thu, 23 Oct 1997 10:20:33 EDT From: Julia Cochran Subject: Re: Bless You On Wed, 22 Oct 1997 21:56:16 -0400 Jody said: >I assume that all of this discussion about politeness and the decline >thereof in the linguistic sense can also be seen in those that use the >so-called "polite" terms, as we have come to consider them, when they >mean absolutely nothing by the endearments. Why ask an acquaintance (or >even stranger) "How are you doing?" if you don't care to hear the actual >answer to the question. Is it supposed to be some sort of hypothetical >question? I would prefer being ignored to being asked a question as such >and refused a chance to answer that very question. My suggestion, don't >even TRY to be polite if you couldn't care less. "How are you doing?" is not a true question. It is the equivalent of a canine tail-wag. If someone wags at me, I wag back, even if the wag is in the guise of a question. Among this tail-challenged human species, sometimes a verbal format is the best we can muster.