Tuesday, 27 September 2016

small talk, phatic communication and the games people play

BBC Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth' today looks at 'small talk':

Small Talk

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Pointless chit chat or vital social lubricant? 
Michael Rosen and Dr Laura Wright talk small talk with psychotherapist and writer Philippa Perry, author of 'How to Stay Sane'. 
Why do we bother with small talk? 
What are the rules of banter? 
And what are we really talking about when we talk about the weather?

BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth, Small Talk

Small talk is an informal type of discourse that does not cover any functional topics of conversation or any transactions that need to be addressed.[1] Small talk is conversation for its own sake. The phenomenon of small talk was initially studied in 1923 by Bronisław Malinowski, who coined the term "phatic communication" to describe it.[2]
Small talk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In linguistics, a phatic expression /ˈfætk/ is communication which serves a social function without carrying additional information.
Phatic expression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phatic communication is popularly known as small talk: the nonreferential use of language to share feelings or establish amood of sociability rather than to communicate information or ideas. The ritualized formulas of phatic communication (such as "Uh-huh" and "Have a nice day") are generally intended to attract the attention of the listener or prolong communication. Also known as phatic speech, phatic communion, phatic language, social tokens, and chit-chat.
The term phatic communion was coined by British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in his essay "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages," which appeared in 1923 in The Meaning of Meaning by C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards.
See Examples and Observations below. Also see:
From the Greek, "spoken"

Examples and Observations

  • "How are you?"
    "How ya doin'?"
    "Have a nice day!"
    "Cold enough for you?"
    "This train is really crowded."
    "What's your sign?"
    "What's your major?"
    "Do you come here often?"
    "Sincerely yours"
    "How about those Mets?"
    "Some weather we're having."

Definitions and Examples of Phatic Communication

It's all a game:
Games People Play (book) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Transactional analysis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
transactional analysis, eric berne, theory examples, articles, diagrams, parent adult child TA model

With some links to ESL/EFL:
Application of Transactional Analysis in ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking Published By
Emotional Intelligence and ELT | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC

And some great videos:
Dr. Eric Berne - Games People Play - The Theory Part I - YouTube

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