Season's Greetings

February 1, 2009

Some people say, “Greetings!” instead of “Hello” or “Hi”. The word “greetings” is the name of the category, so saying “Greetings!” is a bit like saying, “Choose a word from the greetings category and pretend I said that!” A bit lazy.

Worse is “Season’s greetings,” which is like saying, “Pick a seasonally-appropriate greeting not offensive to you and pretend I said it.” This is a way of avoiding intimacy by making the other person invent your side of the conversation.

Good thing we don’t speak like that all the time:

“Season’s greetings!”

“A phrase expressing thanks!”

“A generic question about your well-being that you should not feel pressured to answer honestly or loquaciously.”

“A shallow and expected reply.”


Say the greeting itself, don’t just call out the category. It’s okay to be intimate with people.