Word of the Day

Saturday, May 19, 2012

phatic

\FAT-ik\ , adjective;
1.
Denoting speech used to create an atmosphere of goodwill.
Quotes:
We conduct phatic discourse indispensable to maintaining a constant connection among speakers; but phatic speech is indispensable precisely because it keeps the possibility of communication in working order, for the purpose of other and more substantial communications.
-- Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality
They're just filling the air with noise. This is what's called phatic speech. "How are you?" they might ask.
-- Adriana Lopez, Fifteen Candles
Origin:
Coined by the anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, phatic was first used in 1923. It probably comes from the Greek word phatos meaning "spoken."
POWERED BY 4INFO
Get Word of the Day
Free Email Sign Up
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help

;