[Air-L] Where Are You?

Jerom Janssen jfjanssen at gmail.com
Wed Dec 19 15:10:45 PST 2007

Could it be that the question where one is is not geographical in nature per
se, but contextual in other ways?

If I call a friend and ask where he is, the answer could be that he is at
work. That could tell me that I should keep it short, because he is probably
busy and perhaps scrutinized by colleagues. If I know this person well, I
might know that he hasn't been happy at work lately (and up for a beer later
on), or that he has been working on a project that is about to be wrapped up
(no time for beers).

In my experience, the question is often a prelude to other questions, about
mood or planning (social) things. In the case of planning social things, it
is perhaps not important where one is, but where one could be in T-time.
Maybe it is a bit like the 20 Questions game, and that the question is often
put forth so soon could be an indicator of its effectiveness in establishing
a context update quickly. The word "where" in "where are you now" can
perhaps be interpreted as a form of "how" as in "how are you now" in some

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