phatic communion
Definition - Speech that is used to establish social relationships rather than to convey information.

Example -
Saying "How's it going?" when you pass a fellow worker in the hallway.

Etymology -
The term was coined by the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski from the Greek phatos, spoken (from phanai, to speak).

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1923:
"There can be no doubt that we have here a new type of linguistic use —
phatic communion I am tempted to call it,
actuated by the demon of terminological invention —
a type of speech in which ties of union are created by a mere exchange of words."
(B. Malinowski in Ogden & Richards Meaning of Meaning, p 478)



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