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This is fun. (Recruitment)

by Funkmon @, Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 18:52 (674 days ago) @ Claude Errera

"Hey dad, how did the Tigers do?"

"Grass is green."

Ostensibly, these have nothing to do with one another, but I, as a human, assume my father is following these maxims, and he is trying to tell me something. Is the grass green because the outfielders barely had to move and Boyd threw a no hitter? Maybe it was a rainout and now the grass is greener. I have to think about what he could mean by that because I assume he is giving me relevant information. This happens.


Heh - my first thought would be that he's saying that the Tigers did what they always do. (I don't know what they always do - maybe they lose a lot, maybe they win a lot. I know nothing about the Tigers. I'm just saying that I'd interpret that response as "Grass is green, water is wet, the Tigers ______.")

But then again, you know your dad better than I do. :)

Actually I started with F=MA, then I thought "well that's so far off, the only thing I could do is propose that he might be stating some kind of truism about the universe and infer the Tigers are in a zen like state of maintaining a .500 record."

Then I went with grass is green to be more reasonable and you went there anyway.

If you find this fun, here's a good one.

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"Hey dad, how did the Tigers do?"

"Well, the Lions won."

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There's a lot going on in this one. He's not answering my question, so he's apparently not trying to follow the maxims...but I assume he is. So okay, he knows the answer, but won't tell me. Why? Well, there's an idea floating around of a "politeness" maxim. People don't like to say no, or give bad news. They are averse to it so strongly that they willingly break these fundamental maxims to avoid giving it. So, they break the maxim, knowing that somewhere deep inside we understand why they might break the rules. I would assume here that the Tigers lost, as my dad was changing the subject to a Lions victory.

Or, maybe there's a better explanation for it. My exposure to semantics is one graduate course, so there's probably some explanation beyond the politeness maxim, otherwise surely it would be generally accepted by now.


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