Lenny Domnitser’s

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This is a static archive of the domnit.org blog,
which Lenny Domnitser wrote between 2006 and 2009.

Approaches and Greetings

Inspired by the You Look Nice Today episode Where is the Ham, I would like to catalog several more awkward approaches. All of these are awkward interactions to have with acquaintances you spot.

Too Far Away

This is the one discussed on YLNT. You see each other from far away. When do you greet one another?

Wrong Direction

This starts like Too Far Away, except you have to go in the opposite direction. Your acquaintance already saw you. Do you approach, just wait in place, walk slowly away, or just merrily go on your way?

Busy Acquaintance

The acquaintance is talking on the phone or with a group of people and is too busy to notice you. You walk past so as not to interrupt him, but he says hello, and thinks that you snubbed him.

No Time for Conversation

I mess this up all the time. It is best illustrated graphically.

You are greeted with "What's up?". You answer the question, but the acquaintance has already walked away.

What other horrible greeting scenarios have you been in?

4 comments on Approaches and Greetings

1. Alex says:

Guy at work almost never greets me. Recently I started occasionally to walk by and ignore him. But very seldom he does nod to my “hi” – no audio. Question: stop greeting him or wear him down with courtesy?

—Alex, 11 September 2008, 23:05

2. Christopher Miles says:

This phenomenon is explored in some detail in the wonder Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd.

Some kind soul has transcribed the entire book, but see http://folk.uio.no/alied/TMoL.html#anchorC


This text, with this handful of entries, has provided me with more “Yes! Im not alone!” moments than any other work of literature.

—Christopher Miles, 12 September 2008, 8:06

3. Christopher Miles says:

Sorry, ‘wonder’ should have read ‘wonderful’. Damn you, chardonnay.

—Christopher Miles, 12 September 2008, 8:07

4. Dan says:

Wrong, Sike! Same Direction – Starts like Wrong Direction, but the acquaintance ends up going in the same direction after you have decided to go merrily on your way, and now you’re walking close to them. Converse or stay silent?

Don’t forget the one from an older YLNT podcast: Rapist? – Walking down the same road as a woman a certain distance behind her, trying not to walk like a rapist.

—Dan, 12 September 2008, 9:17

Comments on this entry are now closed. Thanks to those who participated. You can still email me.