And therefore time for a post! My reversal-of-sleep is getting silly, I went to bed at 7 AM, woke up at 3 PM today, now sleeping at 4 AM. I need to fix this, but it’s not urgent- tonight I was applying for jobs, which is one of those things that needs to get done but there’s never really time. Yesterday it was chilling with Joe and Tim, and before that, hanging out with Tim and Connor and Phil, and before that, a very short party that involved firebreathing but not much else interesting, and before that, the S’n’S movie party, which was fun although before-my-time. Hahaha seeing everyone as freshmen and sophomores- Joe, Beej, Ram, Alex A, Court, et. al.
Wow, I just saw Sin City tonight. Whoa. So good! So violent and disturbing! I wish I had a video camera so I could see my faces while watching that- it’d be a mix of “Wow!”, “What?!”, “Oh shit!”, and “(grimace because someone just got decapitated, or shot in the, err, groin, or all limbs cut off and fed to a dog (God, just thinking about that movie I’m grimacing))” So good though! Could possibly become the next Matrixesque cult classic. It’s like Pulp Fiction, except with some resolution! I really like it.
Okay, social commentary of the moment: about the way people refer to other people. (this is all just me rambling, I stole the idea of status from improv and theater in general I guess, but other than that, it’s all my own thoughts, so take it with a grain of salt, or maybe a one-centimeter salt cube)
By first name (“Fred”)- Could indicate best-friend-ship; most of the time, you refer to your best friends by first name only. At least I do. Could also indicate uniqueness: if there’s only one Fred that you and people you’re talking to know, you usually call him “Fred.” (“Did you hear about when Fred…") However, also sometimes indicates you hardly know someone, because it’s kind of the default way of referring to someone. Could also indicate that you know the other person but wish you were not talking to him… you just say the first name for the socially required greeting.
Status: Puts the other person slightly above you, or very far away. Or way down.
By last name (“Smith”)- Indicates a distance between you and Smith that you don’t particularly care to bridge. “Sup Smith?” Common among jocks. And high-schoolers.
Puts the other person slightly below you.
By first and last name (“Fred Smith”)- This is common, esp. among S’n’S. It’s also tricky. I think that saying it lowers the status of the person you’re talking to. (Yeah… ideas from improv. Try not to comment on how Josh is subconsciously converting me to the Johnstone fan club. I think status is pretty universally accepted though.) But even you non-improvvers know what I mean. You might say it to someone you think is a threat to your status, or someone you’re slightly uncomfortable around, because it instantly puts you on at least an equal level with them. It shrouds your greeting in a bit of humor, because it’s slightly ridiculous to call someone by both names. It makes the greeting a bit more distant, and thereby increases your status. If you’re looking up to someone, you say first name only. Often used to refer to the joker, the class clown, who you know but don’t really know. So what does it mean?
“Hello Fred Smith. I’m acknowledging you, as I must in order to maintain social grace. I’m slightly intimidated by you, I don’t want to say your first name only, because that could be interpreted as me looking up to you. Or maybe I think I’m a bit above you, and I want to shroud my greeting in humor so it doesn’t look like I’m talking to you as a complete equal. So I think I’m on about an equal level with you, but I want to make sure you know it too. You can’t refute this or respond; all I’m saying is your name. Or it could just be that I respect you, and I know you too well to be on a first-name basis because I hardly know you, but not well enough to be on a first-name basis because we’re best friends.”
It’s a really passive-aggressive greeting, I think. Could be devastating if used by a manipulative prick, or it could be just the little edge that someone needs to feel comfortable in a social situation.
Nickname (personal): This is a nickname created by two people from a mutual inside joke. Indicates great respect for the other person, a close friendship, and a desire to perpetuate the inside joke. Is it just me, or are inside jokes a really good way to better friendships?
Nickname (common): A nickname that everyone calls that person. Indicates a level of comfort- if you really don’t know someone, you just call that person by his first name. But beyond that, it doesn’t say much, because everyone calls him that.
Silly greeting: i.e. “Hello, Glasses McMolasses” for someone wearing glasses or something. See “first and last name,” except moreso. Saying a first name creates a connection. Doing this doesn’t.
I guess it’s all about how much you leave yourself open to the other person. With a greeting, or a referral to someone, I think just the first name is as open as you can get. The more you obscure it, the more you try to increase your status against that person by cloaking your greeting. So if “first-last name” indicates you’re either +1 or -1 on the Grand Status Scale, then “Dr. Elmonius Q. Arsenic son of Gladiolus the Repugnant, IV, DDS, MD, Esq.” indicates +/- 3. Although I’m not sure. You wouldn’t say that to someone you’re afraid of, unless you’re sure he will think it’s funny. And you wouldn’t waste such an elaborate nickname on someone who’s way below you.
You’ll notice I emphasized the “first-last name”. This is because, to most people in S’n’S, I am a “first-last name”, that is, I’m “Dan Tasse.” (and they are “first-last name"s to me) I guess that’s good, it means I’m about on equal footing with most. For about a semester and a half, I felt like undoubtedly a first-namer, and not in the best-friends way.
Or maybe I’m entirely crazy about all of this. Any thoughts? (besides, “fuck, it’s 4 AM, why am I not asleep?!") Maybe I’ll refine all this later, these are just quick ideas.
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