Rhetorical matters

Sometimes the automatic responses and statements just niggle….

Last Friday, when I was attempting–and failing–to deal with the bank, the staff member on the other end of the line ended each of our six or seven conversations (which were going no better for her than they were for me) with “You have a fantastic day now!” in a voice spritely enough to compete with an EST postulant.

Today I dealt with a waitress who, while very sweet and accommodating (which makes it sound as though I were asking for something special when, I swear, I was simply ordering from the menu), continually ended our brief interactions–greetings, drink order, food order, food delivery, etc.–with “No problem!” Well, thank goodness….

But then I caught myself spewing a line that I use–unconsciously and for a reason I cannot contact–on restaurant staff: “Thank you so much.” How much is ‘so” much and why do I tack this on at the dinner table?

With this joggling in my frontal lobe for at least a moment en route home, I passed a young man–the third I’d seen wearing this apparently mass produced article–sporting a t-shirt proclaiming: “I am incredible.” Wow!

Rhetorical statements–all about making space–and then getting in the way of closing it.


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