I thought I knew everything about how people communicate with language, but I was proven wrong when l acquired of paralanguage, or vocalics .

It’s described as “a component of meta-communication that may modify meaning, provide nuanced meaning, or transfer emotion, by using techniques such as prosody (patterns of rhythm), pitch, volume, intonation, etc.” One aspect of vocalics is something called “paralinguistic respiration” exemplified by gasps, sighs, moans plus groans, throat-clearing (ahem), plus my favorite 1, “mhm”.

I’ve got my “mhms” down to an art form. I can be on the PC plus doing a crossword puzzle while someone goes on plus on about their complications. Whenever there is a brief gap in the conversation I simply throw in a timely “mhm” that fills the gap plus allows the speaker to go on. I had my own tale of woe a few weeks ago when our gas furnace stopped laboring leaving our family wrapped in blankets to stay warm. I used paralanguage at enjoyable length when I called our Heating plus Air Conditioning contractor to schedule a repair. I emitted a sigh of thanks when the dispatcher picked up the PC, and next, I let out a series of moans plus groans, but they were not because I was having a pleasurable experience. Instead, I was eximportant my pain because the Heating plus Air Conditioning Tech was booked until the following week. Next, I gasped loudly when I discovered how much the repair call would cost me because I did not have an extended Heating plus Air Conditioning warranty. The dispatcher had to say some loud “ahems” as my thoughts drifted to the next week when my gas furnace would be back on plus I could let out a sigh of relief. When I feel about it, that Heating plus Air Conditioning dispatcher was almost as good at “mhms” as I am.

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