How was your day? Fine. What did you do? Nothing. Who did you sit with at lunch? Friends. Where are you going? Out.
Chances are you’ve been on one end of this conversation at some point in your life, either as the sullen teenager or the solicitous parent. Make no mistake about it, this is not dialog, which is defined as “the exchange of ideas or opinions.”
Actually, it’s more like advertising.
We talk, and we want Ms. Jones to answer. We desperately want to connect with her, to let her know we care and we can help. We want a relationship with her, we want to know her and we want her to know us. Like a teenager who’d rather hang out with her friends, the competition for her attention is fierce. It’s more than just the other stores in town – it’s every other ad out there and everything else that’s grabbing her attention, like family and work and entertainment and media. So we craft clever “No-No-No This Weekend Only Sales” to broadcast in a booming voice that’s bigger, bolder and more bodacious than the competition.
Is Ms. Jones answering? Or is her silence as deafening as the sound of one hand clapping?