Morning

I just passed a couple of my neighbours in the street, these aren’t neighbours I’ve ever had much interaction with just a couple of people who happen to live in my neighborhood.

As I passed by them I instinctively felt the need to acknowledge their presence so when I reached what I thought wax an appropriate distance I said simply “Morning” to them, to which I got the reply “Morning”.

I suspect that many people have this self same interaction with complete strangers and immediately forget about it. But I’m in a bit of and odd frame of mind today so it got me thinking.

“Morning” is obviously a shortening of “Good morning” which I would assume is a shortening of “May you have a good morning” or “Good morning to you”.

The dropping of the part of the phrase that implies that you are wishing a good morning to the other party is fine because the implication that your statement of “Good morning” implies that you are wishing the other party a good morning, or the very least that you are asserting the fact that it indeed a good morning for one and all.

Remove the good from the equation though, and it almost changes what the statement implies. You may just be being informal, or lazy, and omitting the “Good” from your greeting; but the turn of phrase has in doing so lost it’s original purpose, you are merely stating to the other person that it is indeed morning, and they by replying with morning are ratifying your statement: yes it is indeed morning.

There is no implied good will in this interaction, merely a statement of a fact, followed by an acknowledgement of that fact. No information is passed in this transaction, I would assume that both parties involved already knew that it was in fact morning.

The dialogue is in essence pointless, there is no transferrel of good will, no exchange of informarion, merely an exchange of words with no meaning, with someone of no social consequence to us.

Despite this I will probably continue with this redundant salutation, because I feel obliged to, and because saying that single pointless word as you pass a stranger in the street alleviates the social awkwardness of passing by someone and there being nothing but a wall of silence between you. We are afterall social animals and we are bound by our instinct to interest regardless of how pointless that interaction may be.