Word games

Subject: Word games
From: Matt Ion <soundy -at- NEXTLEVEL -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 1996 06:36:04 0800

In <199601110107 -dot- RAA01686 -at- matrix -dot- direct -dot- ca>, on 01/10/96 at 09:27 AM,
Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA> said:

> The game represents an interesting way to
> sensitize yourself to the way you think about words and use
> them to respond to questions; it's also a challenge coming
> up with more subtle questions that progressively seduce
> callers into becoming comfortable enough talking to you
> that they stop thinking carefully about their responses.

An article in the Reader's Digest some years ago pointed out how conditioned
we become to standard questions and their expected responses. It also
spotlighted how little people really pay attention to what each other are

The prime example the author used was the standard "How are you?" greeting.
Most times, he pointed out, this is asked only as a politeness, as the
inquisitor generally doesn't really care how you are.

To make his point, in a totally non-scientific mini-study, everytime someone
asked him "How are you?" (or some common variation thereof), his reply was,
"Oh, I'm feeling."

Only two people out of a couple dozen even caught it, and only one of those
was quick-thinking enough to come back with, "Anybody I know?"

Your friend and mine,
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