The term, “meta-data” has been much used of late and I have been reflecting on its etymology and its potential for wider usage. Why not meta-conversation?
Indeed, I was having a meta –conversation with my old friend Dennis just the other day. I was telling him about an impromptu tete-a-tete I recently had with a guy I met in the pub.
We had been conversing at the bar for a few minutes when I remarked that despite the very modest extent of my powers of perspicacity, I sensed from his demeanour that he had taken an aversion to me. Was I correct?
He hesitated, then said, “Yes, I think you’re a ***t”
“What? But why? What have I done? I have been a paragon of affability, have I not? I have endeavoured to be both erudite and amiable; a rare enough trait in these times of strident and boorish assertion, for all love. How is it that I have I so provoked your ire?”
“By talking like that, you arsehole.”
Dennis looked at me appraisingly and enquired, “Did he really say that?”
“No”, I chuckled, “the whole conversation was apocryphal.”
Dennis reflected a moment before stating firmly, “I’m with the guy down the pub.”
This is where your mind can go when you’ve been dropping trees for weeks with more than 500 still to go.
Actually what gave me the idea was the last page of an AGM report; one of those that states in large friendly letters, THIS PAGE HAS BEEN DELIBERATELY LEFT BLANK”. Such things do not support a sanguine prospect for the future.