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'Put the Cheetos Down': Camouflaging the Institutionality of an Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  19 Ernest enters the room, orients toward the table, and claims space by placing a notepad on the table. Shortly before he reaches the table, Jim orients towards him audibly (line 1). To a certain extent, both have oriented toward each other by performing a typical dyadic greeting sequence (lines 1-2). However, Jim’s utterance in line 1 is not without function. To a certain extent, Jim displays audibly to Ernest and other group members present that he has noticed Jim’s entrance first. In fact, there are no overlaps or interruptions; the greeting is conducted with “delicate choreography" (Moerman, 1988). On an important level, Jim has taken conversational priority for conversational involvement with Ernest. In line 3, he maintains this involvement by producing both a statement about Ernest’s health condition (i.e., to have cold) while simultaneously requesting verification. He does so by ending his utterance with an upward intonation (line 3). Nevertheless, Jim’s speech provides both a conversation to begin while simultaneously limiting Ernest’s possibilities since Ernest’s question is a closed-ended one. In fact, it produces exactly that (line 5). In line 5, Ernest simply answers Jim’s question and makes explicit that Jim, in fact, had made an appropriate conclusion about his health. Yet, Ernest performs a bit more than that. Notice the way his utterance addresses Jim formally (“sir”, line 5), and displays the complete grammatical pattern for answering a question with “yes” (line 5, “yes, I do”). In important ways, Jim and Ernest have oriented toward a formal sequence and pattern of “doing” a greeting sequence. By orienting toward each other formally, they reconstruct and display to others the extent of their relational involvement; friends

Authors: Mirivel, Julien. and Tracy, Karen.
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19
Ernest enters the room, orients toward the table, and claims space by placing a
notepad on the table. Shortly before he reaches the table, Jim orients towards him
audibly (line 1). To a certain extent, both have oriented toward each other by
performing a typical dyadic greeting sequence (lines 1-2). However, Jim’s utterance in
line 1 is not without function. To a certain extent, Jim displays audibly to Ernest and
other group members present that he has noticed Jim’s entrance first. In fact, there are
no overlaps or interruptions; the greeting is conducted with “delicate choreography"
(Moerman, 1988). On an important level, Jim has taken conversational priority for
conversational involvement with Ernest.
In line 3, he maintains this involvement by producing both a statement about
Ernest’s health condition (i.e., to have cold) while simultaneously requesting
verification. He does so by ending his utterance with an upward intonation (line 3).
Nevertheless, Jim’s speech provides both a conversation to begin while simultaneously
limiting Ernest’s possibilities since Ernest’s question is a closed-ended one. In fact, it
produces exactly that (line 5).
In line 5, Ernest simply answers Jim’s question and makes explicit that Jim, in
fact, had made an appropriate conclusion about his health. Yet, Ernest performs a bit
more than that. Notice the way his utterance addresses Jim formally (“sir”, line 5), and
displays the complete grammatical pattern for answering a question with “yes” (line 5,
“yes, I do”). In important ways, Jim and Ernest have oriented toward a formal sequence
and pattern of “doing” a greeting sequence. By orienting toward each other formally,
they reconstruct and display to others the extent of their relational involvement; friends


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