Thursday, January 19, 2006

A word in your shell-like

Norm posts on language. This is what he says:
Sometimes, before getting to the message itself, the person delivering it inadvertently gives away what the message is going to be. Julia has been for a job interview. She's waiting to hear from a friend - Anne - whether she's got the job or not. Anne works in the organization where the job is on offer, has inside information, and has undertaken to let Julia know the outcome of the appointments process before applicants are informed officially. Julia is waiting for Anne's call. The phone rings, Julia picks it up and the voice at the other end says:

Hi Julia, it's Anne, I'm afraid.
What can Julia infer? Let us consider.
  • the obvious - "sorry: you haven't got the job".
  • the sardonic - "you'll be working with me. It'll be terrible. Just you and me. Together. All day. Everyday. We'll begin to hate each other."
  • the cynical - "why do you want to come and work at a disfunctional organisation like this?"
  • the humorous - "Can you start monday?"
It depends, partly, on tone of voice. It also, partly depends on the character, the relationship, and the sense of humour of Anne. As Johnny Five says "Need more input".

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