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"How are things going?" I'm doing well.

 
 
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2016 06:57 am
Is there a word or phrase for the interaction between people where someone asks a question and the other person responds with a similar, but wrong answer?

Examples:
How are things going? - I'm doing well. (Clearly the correct answer would be "Things are going well.")

Do you know who I am? - Yeah, a big nerd! (The question required a 'who' answer, while the response given was a 'what' answer.

I want to say it's something like "not keeping the tense" or maybe some phrase like a "freudian slip."
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 761 • Replies: 3
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snood
 
  0  
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2016 08:27 am
@Grammarplz,
Quote:
I want to say it's something like "not keeping the tense" or maybe some phrase like a "freudian slip."


I'm going to go with "not something worth giving two shyts about" or maybe some phrase like a "waste of keystrokes".
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2016 08:55 am
@Grammarplz,
Is the other person a native English speaker? their responses are colloquially correct, if not grammatically correct.
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maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Jul, 2016 09:16 am
@Grammarplz,
I think the word you are looking for is "colloquial". When two people are communicating they are expressing a feeling or an idea. The mathematical correctness of the expression isn't important.

I don't think either of these are grammatically incorrect.

In the first example "how are things going" is an idiomatic expression that is used as part of a social ritual. The response is another idiomatic expression. This is a typical greeting ritual.

The phrase "A big nerd is just who I am" is perfectly correct in English. When Darth Vader says "Luke, I am your father", it is the same sort of thing.




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