My favorite speechwriting authority Jerry Tarver used to joke about the speaker who was "so pompous, when he said 'good morning,' he appeared to be taking credit for it."
The other day, I almost used "good morning" in another obnoxious way.
I'm trying to reach an archivist I've never met to assertain what she has in her files.
I'm wanting her to feel the urgency urgency of my request. So instead of commencing, "Hi Joan," I begin, "Good morning, Joan."
Just to let Joan know that I know that she knows that I know that she knows that I'm writing her in the morning, and to suggest maybe she could reply to me in the morning, too. Or at least that same afternoon.
But I thought the better of it, because it occurred to me that I resent it when people I don't know "good morning" me over email. The whole beauty of email is that it allows us to engage whenever it's convenient. If you call me on the phone, say "good morning." But to an emailed "good morning," my unconscious response is, "Never mind what time it is, Bub. Tell me what you want and when you'd like to have it and I'll get back to you when I can."
So I told Joan straight up that I was in "something of a hurry" with my research, and I left it at that.
It seems to me that "good morning" should be saved for old friends and new lovers.
Am I overthinking it? Or am I just thinking it?