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Arts & Culture

How Are You? It's So Nice Outside Today! It's A Great Day For Our Show On Small Talk.

Pedro Ribiero Simoes
Creative Commons

It's nice to meet you! When did you move in? How do you like it here in Connecticut after leaving the beautiful weather in Hawaii?

Small talk is both the bane of our existence and essential in our existential quest to understand our place in the world.

Whether you like it or hate it may depend partly on how we value speech that establishes and maintains relationships, as opposed to speech that is task-oriented or provides information. That may depend on gender.

We talk to a humorist, writing teacher, meteorologist, and philosopher about small talk. And we want to hear about your small talk stories. 


  • Alexandra Petri - A columnist for The Washington Post, a punning champion, and the author of A Field Guide to Awkward Silences; her new book of essays, Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, will be published in June, 2020
  • Irene Papoulis - Teaches writing at Trinity College
  • Garett Argianas - A forensic meteorologist and Connecticut Public Radio's weather forecaster
  • Agnes Callard - Associate professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago, monthly columnist for The Point magazine, and a contributor to The New York Times

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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