Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 15:21:15 EDT From: Larry Horn 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.