Monday, December 10, 2007

Silence and Speechlessness

The Word Nerds is a podcast about language and naturally normally deals with how we communicate in words and sentences. Communication can be non-verbal also, one tends to forget. Not the Word Nerds and consequently they already had a show about nonverbal communication a long time ago. In their recent show, they took this attention a step further and spoke of speechlessness and of silence.

Silence can be very effective in language and they proceed to show this with examples. For me the most impressive silence are the moments of silence taken for commemoration. For the dead of war, for the victims of 9/11 and such. Most impressive are those in Israel.

There is the silence of Yom Kippur, when the whole country comes to a halt and for city dwellers such as myself, the background hum of traffic comes to a stop and during the day there is the silence of the dead of night, more so than on an average night. Other silences are those of remembrance far fallen soldiers, terrorist victims and on the holocaust remembrance day. Even on the highway people stand still. They stop their cars and stand in silence next to them.
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