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PHATIC COMMUNION. [From Greek phátos spoken: coined by the Polish anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, 1923]. LANGUAGE used more for the purpose of establishing an atmosphere or maintaining social contact than for exchanging information or ideas: in speech, informal comments on the weather (Nice day again, isn't it?) or an enquiry about health at the beginning of a CONVERSATION or when passing someone in the street (How's it going? Leg better?); in writing, the conventions for opening or closing a letter (All the best, Yours faithfully).