Standard Scripts and rejoinders

Posted by ESC on February 09, 2005

In Reply to: Standard Scripts and rejoinders posted by Ward on February 09, 2005

: Our language has a series of snippets of dialog which are almost standard. A friend said to me today "this getting old is a bitch" to which I replied, "yes, but it's better than the alternative'. Transaction completed!
: What are these things called; these mindless phrases which simply provide a connection so that other conversation can there a name for this?

Conversational gambit?

Gambit 2 a : a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point. (Merriam-Webster online)