Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Restraint

Dr. Garvey was a professor of Communication and my advisor in college. She was, as the saying goes, tough but fair...an energetic woman who still hosts the departmental reunions at her house on campus each year. Her list of pet peeves was small, but she was unyielding about them:

1. It's Communication. Period. Not Communications. Communications is a media-based course of study...communication is the other side of the coin...public relations, organizational behavior, speechwriting, interpersonal... Confuse not the two lest ye be reduced to a non-communicative puddle of reamed-out goo.

2. Never ask a leading question. If you presuppose the answer to your question, you'll never really find out anything....and/or Dr. Garvey would happily presuppose your (highly unflattering) grade on the offending assignment. Go figure.

I am reminded of Dr. Garvey every. single. day. because every. single. day. I am askanswered the same question:

Howyadoinggood?

Every
single
day.

I genuinely think the quanswer is meant to be a playful attempt at banter...just checking-in...all breezy and casual...so I try (every. single. day.) to keep that in mind and react with kindness to the communicative equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard.

I am proud of two things with respect to this... First, I have not pointed out the folly of leading questions or recounted my history with Dr. Garvey and her crusade against them...and second, I have not offered that the more correct way of askanswering the question would be "Howyadoingwell?"...

...although, ok, once I did sort of (playfully) blase back "um...you didn't actually need me for this conversation, did you?"

Sorry, Dr. G...I couldn't resist.

2 comments:

grrrbear said...

I like to respond to that question by saying "Oh no, I'm actually doing the will of *evil*. I figure since I have an army of heckspawn lying around I might as well be productive, right?"

I Blog, You Blog said...

I can't stop giggling over "heckspawn"... *snicker*