I'm not in a very nice mood this evening. For reasons that are of no interest to you. However, for this evening and in future, I have one piece of advice for you...
Matt's guide to starting a conversation.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole point of a conversation to give information to some target audience, be it a single friend, be it a group of office workers, be it a lover, be it a channel of IRC clients or someone on the other end of a PM window. Every conversation has a purpose, an intention, a goal. Surely that's the definition of conversing.
So, I come to my point. The thing that bitterly annoys me about the vast majority of people I've ever come across is the way they handle this conversation. Please -please- tell me why it is that a tiny minority of people get straight to the point, and the huge portion of people I ever have the pleasure of conversing with, delay and defer the intent of initiating speech. It's the lack of - in my opinion - social skills, from the outset.
If I were in a better mood, I would trail through my IRC logs and give you a number of real quotes, however, I will use my imagination. It's the questions like "How are you?" or "What're you up to?" or "Hi, you ok?" etc. They are utterly pointless. Utterly. And I despise them.
It would be absolutely wonderful if people actually meant it when they asked how I was doing. But people very very rarely do. Its just part of our culture now, its way of life, the thing to do. It is essentially, a waste of time, a waste of breath or typing, and a complete annoyance for anyone who is busy or in a rush.
So, if you wish to have a polite and happy conversation with me on IRC or at any Planetarion meets, don't you -dare- ask me how I am. If I am feeling particularly good, or particularly down, I will let you know.
And don't even get me started on "It's a lovely sunny day, isn't it?"