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Contracting greetings 2020-12-24 21:06:33

My girlfriend got a text from a mutual acquaintance who told her to "Say hi to Brandon for me." We've all done this, but why do we do it? The acquaintance has my number, and she could easily text me directly to say hi. I refer to this as contracting greetings--contracting out your greeting to someone through a third party. 

I think this is a holdover from when communication was not so widespread and constructs like "long-distance calls" existed. I remember years ago telling my mom that I was having issues being put on hold by a credit card company. She said, "Now you tell them you're calling long distance and you don't have time to be waiting on the phone all day." It made me chuckle because ever since I had my first cell phone, the concept of long-distance calling became foreign to me.

I remember when my family would gather for the holidays, the family members who were not there invariably called, and the phone got passed around to several people. One time my brother Tony, who was just getting over bronchitis, answered the phone when my dad called. They chatted for a few minutes, and then Tony handed me the phone. The first thing my dad said was, "I was just listening to the strong voice of Tony."

I would bet that the younger generations do not contract out their greetings and would give you puzzled looks if you mentioned long-distance charges for phone calls. 

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While reading this I thought that the reason for this was that you might know someone well enough to want to say hi through an already open communication, but not open up a completely new line. 

I gotta talk to some of these youngsters to see if they truly would not contract their greetings. Before reading this I would've bet that they would also do this. But now I wonder.
2020-12-25 15:19:53
It is an interesting observation and would like to know whether there are generational differences.
2020-12-25 15:35:09