I have been exchanging a lot of planning emails with other academics this week. These messages might be too brief or blunt if we didn't plump them up with pleasantries. No one wants that. We must at all costs be pleasing and plump!
On the other hand, it is clear that none of us has a repertoire of stock phrases at all large enough to stretch to the number of stock spaces that need filling. So, on the theory that what worked once will work forever and always, we are very VERY ready to reiterate just how very much we are looking forward to things.
I am looking forward to this event I am planning, with these speakers I am wrangling, and they are all looking forward to it, too. The organizer of the event I am attending is very much looking forward to my visit. I am looking forward to it as well! I am looking forward to her talk, and his talk, and meeting everyone. She is looking forward to everything. He is looking forward to everything. We are all so looking forward to what promises to be a very exciting forward-looking forward forward forward. Look!
When it is all over, I'm sure we can look back with pride at how thoroughly we looked forward to it all.