Today I read on msn news that there is a service whereby one could pretend someone is calling him or her, by clicking a button on their computer, so that they can make an excuse out of a long conversation. While this only charges a monthly fee of 5 bucks, I still prefer a more primitive and yet polite way of concluding meaningless rambling. The best thing to do is perhaps to find a moment of pause in a conversational relay, and quickly interject like this:"Alright I think I should go get some assignment done, but we should definitely get together in another time." This is appropriate to peers, who can be somewhat above or below your level of seniority. The main advantage of such a transitional statement is that it is honest. You do have other things to spend time on, and you do think it’s a good idea to continue this conversation at some future point, when both you and the counterparty have gathered enough material to further substantiate the discourse. But let’s say you are trying to snap a closing statement with your advisor. This might seem more difficult since you are not supposed to appear too wily or excusable. Thus an acceptable form of parting might be:"thank you for giving me all these notes, they should keep me busy for quite a while, I will see you next week." Or an alternative might be:"Ok, let me have some time to think about the topic you suggested, and I will get back to you when I have something useful to say." Again honesty is apparent in both of these statements. Furthermore it puts the priority on the assignment you are receiving from your superior, e.g., advisor. Now a final case is your subsidiary, for instance your pupil. I guess what I have learned through oral observation is the following pitch:"Good. I would like to hear more from you. Let’s set up another meeting say how about this coming Saturday at midnight?" Or "Ok let’s see, oh, I am actually meeting xxx at 3:30, so send me an email for your preferred time of the next meeting. We have a lot more to discuss next time." For peers, the manner in which leaves are taken appear rather straightforward. One simply has to state another personal time priority, and expect the others to symphathize and understand. In the case of interclass conversation, one must find more obligatory causes to part his way. So much lies in the variation of the dictions and tone of speech, but a certain amount of consistency and commitment to memory might be helpful in the long run.