SIGNIFICANT OTHER: Increasingly Significant Issue

Mai Kuha mkuha at BSUVC.BSU.EDU
Thu Apr 11 21:20:40 UTC 2002

> At 3:56 PM -0400 4/11/02, Steve Kl. wrote:
> >(...)
> >Actually, in this day in age, I'm astounded by the number of telemarketers
> >who ask for Mrs. Dubuque. It seems so presumptuous on so many levels, not
> >just queer/straight ones. (...)

On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Laurence Horn wrote:
> I don't know what excuse
> your telemarketers have, except maybe their synapses clicked onto the
> "little old lady from Dubuque" subroutine (...)
> and figured there must be one in the household...

Thinking back to my distant work experience doing telephone surveys, I
suspect asking for Mrs. Dubuque may be part of a script imposed by
the client of the telemarketing firm. The presupposition is objectionable
all the same, of course, but clients sometimes require downright surreal
linguistic behaviors in scripts--it's not *necessarily* true that the
individual telemarketers would assume the existence of Mrs. Dubuque.


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