See you soon?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/05/07 05:01 -04:00, original URI:

I have been thinking about this issue since Mark Lieberman and Paul Kay mentioned it over on Language Log.

It is easy enough to hear some television program where a person will say almost conversationally at the end of the show 'See you next time' and I have probably heard it for years without being struck at the essential silliness of the notion of the people on the other end of a television really being able to see me.

I mean, it is not a telescreen, at least not yet, I mean. :-)

So the one thing we can be sure of is that even if I do manage to see the show next time, they will certainly not be seeing me. This is not something that one can really take offense about, since it is kind of conversational. And friendly.

Now, applying this to the blog, what would it mean for me to say 'See you here tomorrow!', exactly?

Given the wide variety of number of times a day I might post and the lack of consistency in the time, or the subject matter, it seems an odd thing to say.

Certainly some people will just come to the website periodically, others will subscribe to the main feed, and still others will subscribe to specific categories to try to the cull out what they think of as nonsense

But at the same time, I do try to stay conversational here whenever I can, basically just as if I were talking to somebody who did not mind me talking their ear off about internationalization and whatever else interests me.

And the posts are open for comments. Hell, if you are registered on the site then they are not even moderated prior to showing up on the site.

There are some topics where I pretty much know that certain people will comment, and there will be a literal conversation back and forth about an issue.

And there are some people who I know read this blog every day so if I bring up a topic with them a few days later they will mention that they read what I said about it.

Given how interactive the medium is, why wouldn't I feel comfortable closing a post with a nice 'See you later!' or 'See you soon!' at the bottom?

I do it in regular conversations all the time, and I even do it in IM, both for the literal cases where I will indeed see them soon in person and the virtual cases where my lack of webcam means that I will acually just be seeing the words they type in our next IM conversation.

Perhaps it is the fact that the posts in a blog are much more of a monologue (some would call many posts here a monotonologue, especially the people reading it who don't have an interest in most of the subject matter!) than a conversation, no matter what the comments may do to turn it into a conversation afterwards.

I suppose if I knew German I could close with 'Auf Wiederlesen' (or perhaps even 'Auf Wiederschreiben' if I wanted to keep the impetus on me to do the work rather than the reader!). But I don't [speak German], so me using German here would feel as natural as (in the words of the Great Lorenzo) a goat spouting Greek....

Perhaps this post had no real point. But that is okay, many of them don't. :-)


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# Maurits [MSFT] on 8 May 2006 11:50 AM:

How about "Hasta la Vista?" ;)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 8 May 2006 12:04 PM:

Unfortunately Maurits, one thing that this phrase will not inspire is a feeling of "soon"....

# Michael Dunn_ on 8 May 2006 1:58 PM:

Another expression in French is "à la prochaine fois" which means "until next time". This might be "soon" depending on how quickly you write your next blog entry. :)

# Mihai on 8 May 2006 8:18 PM:

I have no problem with "See you soon"
I also have no problem to dial a phone :-)

# Eric Lippert on 8 May 2006 8:39 PM:

Yeah, and why is it that on Classic Rock radio stations they always say "playing classic hits, back to back!" ?  Surely the BACK of the previous song abuts the FRONT of the next song.  They'd only be back to back if one of them were being played backwards, right?

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2007/05/08 Back to back to back[formation] (aka, Step on a crack, break your mama's back[-formation])

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