How about those Mets?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Trimple, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. Trimple Member

    Yokohama, Japan
    Dear all,

    I was googling around the internet when I came across a research paper titled "How about those METS?"

    METS in this paper refers to the Australian "Mining Equipment, Technology and Services".
    I assume it has a double meaning (probably referring to the New York Mets?) but I could not find a site that explains the original meaning.
    (Like why it is the Mets and not the Philadelphia Phillies.)

    What is the original context of this phrase?
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Apparently, it's called (or someone calls it) phatic communication: Small talk: the nonreferential use of language to share feelings or establish a mood of sociability rather than to communicate information or ideas; ritualized formulas intended to attract the attention of the listener or prolong communication.

    The term phatic communion was coined by British anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski in his essay "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Languages," which appeared in 1923 in The Meaning of Meaning by C.K. Ogden and I.A. Richards.

    "How about those Mets/Yankees?" has become a cliched example of small talk, just like "Some weather we're having." I've also seen it used as a humorous way to change the conversation when someone has asked a question you don't want to answer, or said something awkward that has stopped the conversation.
  3. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    I'm not sure precisely what you are asking. The origin of the baseball team's name was the New York Metropolitans.

    (simultaneous post)
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
    Interesting that this term is known in Australia. I had never heard of it before this thread. We don't play much baseball in the UK! :)

    I can't help thinking there's a British equivalent but I can't bring it to mind.

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