a conversational style i've been noticing more and more these days. mastered by my friend Pat Castaldo.

simply put, bouncing the topic of conversation back and forth, usually along typically cliched lines, without making any headway or direction. often done in a lame attempt to be funny, or at lease non-offensive. when done successfully, ping-ponging can result in the ping-pongee exposing themselves conversionally. true masters of this technique are consistently witty, while the novice will often be rewarded with puzzled, "do i really want to be talking to this halfwit?" frowns.

reasons for ping-ponging are varied. whether passively avoiding a question one prefers not to answer or fishing for compliments, once ping-ponging has begun the topic of conversation is completely stalled, leaving the non-ping-ponger wholly responsible for further topical content.

scene: Phillip and Jill are discussing going home together. they both find the other attractive, and both would enjoy an evening of "athletic" diversion. Jill, however, is unwilling to be the initiator. ping-ponging follows.

Phillip: "so, do you want to get out of here?"
Jill: "get out of the bar, get out of my seat, or get out of town?"
Phillip: "umm, get out of the bar."
Jill: "but where would we go?"
Phillip: "i thought we could go to my apartment."
Jill: "well, i've already got an apartment, so seeing another one seems kind of redundant, don't you think?"
Phillip: (frustrated, leans in close and makes clear eye-contact) "listen. i would like you to come home with me and stay over. are you interested?"
Jill: "yes. let's go."

often, but not necessarily, a technique employed by the insecure.

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