Nice to meet you. (Then what?)

what do you do

When you meet someone new, do you ask “What do you do?” What’s your most likely conversation starter? Apparently there are common openers depending on where you live. For example, whereas in DC “What do you do?” might get the response “I work on the Hill” or the name of a law firm, the same question in Burlington, Vermont might garner the response “Well, I ski…”

I think that’s fascinating! There’s a linguist who is looking into this and the study is being covered in joint by NPR and The Atlantic. (Listen to the five minute overview on Marketplace, or read about it here.)

Now this is conjecture on my part, but I think if someone here answered “Well, I ski…” to that question, it would be because they didn’t like the question and wanted to put you in your place—not because they didn’t get the intention, which would have been: ‘what do you do for a living?’

(By the way, you can apparently ask someone in Burlington “How did you get here?” since very few are native to the town; but you shouldn’t start with that in Alaska. The answer might be sketchy.)

Apparently, many of us are most likely to ask “Where do you live?” in order to start conversation (and assess the person).

So tell me, What’s your most common conversation starter? What question do you most like/despise to have people ask you first?

And here are a few good links for your weekend… 

Have you been reading about this password disaster, Heartbleed?! Sounds like we all need to reset our passwords (soon, but not quite yet). Will you come up with all new passwords (which we apparently are all terrible at doing)? Or will you trust something like a password generating app? This stuff is so scary!

How did I miss Kevin Bacon recreating a scene from Footloose on Jimmy Fallon?! I LOVED that movie! And now I like Mr. Bacon more than ever. (Thanks, PJ)

Yet another story about the uncertain safety of plastic cups. We just ordered child size glasses by the practically unbreakable, classic French brand, Duralex

. They’re just the right size for toddler hands. (Never mind that someone drinks from his via a plastic curly-cue straw. Hmmm.)

Do you decorate Easter Eggs? I plan on letting Hudson do that for us this year; I’ll just be pinning the really pretty eggs—and then marbling/dying/papier-machéing vicariously. Here’s some inspiration.

We’re going to be on campus for the University’s Open House parade tomorrow. Here’s a photo gallery of UC Davis’s Picnic Day, starting in 1909.

And guess what? I’m finally pulling together a home tour on the blog. Stay tuned!

P.S. This story about conversation starters made me think of that fascinating dialect map quiz! And this one about making friends as adults.

[Photo of something I’d like to say I do, via]

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