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You are what you say you do or you did

I was reading the ‘Vows’ section in the Fashion and Style Sunday New York Times today. That ‘s where they describe recent marriages. Here’s an excerpt with names and other details modified:

“Ms. Smith, a 2002 graduate of Bryn Mawr, is a daughter of Dr. Z. Smith, an internist, and Nancy Smith, an investment banking executive, Fugerola, N.Y. She was also averse to a set-up. “Guys asked me out, but I never met anyone who made me want to say ‘yes,’ ” said Ms. Smith who is 30 and works in Metro Polis as a data analyst for Alpha Beta.

Mr. Cohen’s aunt, Dr. Lucia Philip, a retired general physician in London, England, set up the couple while visiting her son, who lives in Asymptopia, N.Y., and was about to have a baby.

It fell to Mr. Vincent’s parents, Sam Vincent, an employee benefits consultant for Met Life, and Rachel Vincent, a mechanical creator for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will host the reception. “

Notice how everyone has a long qualifying clause — -an investment banking executive, Fugerola, N.Y -works in Metro Polis as a data analyst for Alpha Beta -an employee benefits consultant for Met Life -a mechanical creator for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

I can’t decide if this is bad writing above or if it’s a reflection of something more zeitgeistish, or both.

It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw of a tombstone that had written on it “Andrew Johnson, R.IP., Verbal 660, Quantitative 750,”

I know that one wants to know who everyone is and what they do/did, and I know I do too, but still. I once had dinner with an English couple in Norway who resolutely refused to enter into this. Everytime I said what I did, they didn’t tell me what they did in return. It threw me off. Eventually I realized that conversations don’t have to begin this way.

Next entry will be about Alpha at the GAIM conference in Cannes.

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