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By Dr. Will S. Sert

HAVE A NICE DAY: Nurse Laconia Crisp came into the office fuming the other day. She’d had a long meeting with Father Peter Holdoff, and had over parked in front of Our Lady of Loving Disapproval. After writing her a ticket, Constable Clayton Johnson had told her, “Have a nice day!”

At the weekly Institute for the Linguistically Impaired staff meeting in Strunk Hall, we discussed this expression. In spite of some heated disagreement, we decided to accept it as a standard, meaningless social noise like, “How are you?” The asker has no more interest in your health than a dull-eyed store clerk has in the niceness of your day.

In spite of the Institute’s strict standards, “Have a nice day” won our acceptance because these meaningless formulas have ancient precedent. “Goodbye” is short for “God be with you,” but those with tiny, litigious minds might sue me for saying it to them if they thought the word were a prayer.

A possible exception to the standard of meaninglessness exists over in Los Bebedors, the home of Bedspring Tech. The New Age Chapel of Freedom From Guilt uses “Have a nice day” as the benediction. That’s a college town for you.

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