how come that people use questions like “how is [person’s name here]?” without actually wanting to hear the answer, to relate to the subject?
has this, too, become an empty phrase in english – like “how are you?” and “take care”, and “i’m afraid, i’m busy”?
if you ask me, it is better to indicate honest disinterest, than to simulate care. empty subroutines in the communication protocols only make the world a much more lonely and dangerous place.
yes, i am an alien, and i have been learning what politeness is, and its function in any urbanised society. i can use politeness in communication, and i do not think it is redundant.
but expressing need for information only in order to display superiority? that is incomprehensible for me.
maybe it would be necessary to come up with a subroutine that clearly indicates the lack of intention to acquire information requested verbally. a bodily sign, perhaps? (!i)
(i really liked the diagram below, so i quote it here, to no apparent purpose)