Friday, September 23, 2011

Phatically speaking

Robert Norman has got a girl friend.
Consider the above statement. I can tell you that it is true, or at least I trust Audrey, the person who vouchsafed this piece of information to me at lunch the other day. She said it a propos of nothing, just one of those phatic "Plums are dear" kind of utterances, something said to fill a gap in the conversation.
Yes, it seems that Robert Norman has got a girl friend. I have the advantage over you in that I know who Robert Norman is. I suppose the noteworthy element of this piece of news is that Robert Norman is well into his eighties. But beyond that, I have no particular edge on anyone else hearing the statement.
The Turkish for elephant is FIL, the Russian for elephant is SLON.
I don't see why my friend Audrey should be the only one to come up with exciting conversation fillers.

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