Re: CHAT: "have a nice day"
|From:||Matt Pearson <jmpearson@...>|
|Date:||Tuesday, March 7, 2000, 15:59|
>I'm sorry, but I'm just not getting it. If "have a nice day" is offensive,
>what is a NONoffensive way to convey the same thing? And what makes it
>offensive (or is it just something like broccoli that one doesn't like for
>no apparent reason)?
I dislike the expression for several reasons:
(1) It's become a cliche--but not enough of a cliche to go unnoticed.
(2) The word "nice" is so insipid. When applied to people ("He's a really
nice person") the word still carries some significance, but in expressions
like "Have a nice day" the word "nice" has become so semantically bleached
as to be virtually meaningless. If the best you can say about something
is that it's "nice", that's a pretty bad sign. It's a classic case of
damning with faint praise.
(3) For me and many other people of my generation (and no doubt the
previous generation as well), "Have a nice day" is the epitome of
the empty 'feel good' bumper-sticker sentiment. It conjures up in my
mind the malaise of the mid-to-late 70s, when it was more important
to feel good about yourself than to do anything about anything, and
when having a nice day was the best anybody could hope for. Later it
was picked up as a catch-phrase by bureaucrats, PR people, cashiers,
and 'customer service respresentatives', and quickly became
synonymous with insincerity. In short, this innocuous little expression
carries a surprisingly large amount of negative cultural baggage.
During my brief tenure as a customer service representative, I used
"Have a good day". Not much better than "Have a nice day", but
at least "good" is more unambiguously positive than "nice".