One of the memes going around the blogosphere (see, I can talk like a geek!) is collecting examples of "Silly Talk About X." It started with silly talk about science, then philosophy, and now linguistics. Example:
The setting: Prof. Garrett, on the plane, sitting next to a middle-aged woman.
She asks, "So, what do you do?"
Prof. Garrett, "I'm a philosopher."
"Oh! What are some of your sayings?"
Personally, I've experienced more glazed looks than silly talk when people (outside of law schools or libraries) ask me what I do. What about you? Please share your favorites in the comments below.