When we meet a person for the first time, how can we say that it's a pleasure to meet them, when we cannot predict the outcome of that meeting. What if it turns into a melancholy state ?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Centaurus, jimm101, Hellion, Janus Bahs Jacquet, MetaEd Oct 20 '16 at 18:46

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    For the same reason that we always say "fine, thanks" when someone asks how we are doing. – Centaurus Oct 20 '16 at 16:06
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    Also, the act of meeting someone for the first time is different than the act of having a meeting with someone. Meeting someone for the first time is a very brief event that is basically over as soon as you have exchanged names and pleasantries. If you then go on to have an acrimonious debate culminating in fisticuffs, that is a separate thing from the initial 'meeting-for-the-first-time'. – Hellion Oct 20 '16 at 17:16
  • This is not a question about the English language. It's about the etiquette, maybe, or logic, of expressions in many languages, such as "es freut mich Sie kennen zu lernen" and "es un placer conocerte". – MetaEd Oct 20 '16 at 18:45

Pleasure to meet you is a fixed expression, which means that you can use it even if it doesn't make sense when its constituents are taken literally. Don't worry, no one will think you are a liar if the meeting turns out bad.

Many greetings in English are fixed expressions. For example, you can say good morning even if you are having a bad morning; in fact, it's usually socially expected of you to use an "optimistic" greeting rather than an honest one.


Well as per my point of view, I think it's an optimistic approach hoping that the meeting will go well and it will be a pleasurable time for both the parties just like they wished each other

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