I thought I knew everything about how people communicate with language, however I was proven wrong when l gained of paralanguage, or vocalics .
It’s described as “a component of meta-communication that may modify meaning, give 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 & groans, throat-clearing (ahem), & my number one 1, “mhm”.
I’ve got my “mhms” down to an art form. I can be on the cellphone & doing a crossword puzzle while someone goes on & on about their concerns. Whenever there is a brief gap in the conversation I simply throw in a timely “mhm” that fills the gap & allows the speaker to go on. I had my own tale of woe a few weeks ago when our gas furnace stopped working leaving our family wrapped in blankets to stay warm. I used paralanguage at good length when I called our Heating as well as Air Conditioning contractor to schedule a repair. I emitted a sigh of thanks when the dispatcher picked up the cellphoneâ€¦ Next, I let out a series of moans & groans, but they were not because I was having a pleasurable experience. Instead, I was eximportant my pain because the Heating as well as Air Conditioning Tech was booked until the following week. Next, I gasped loudly when I discovered how much the repair call would cost myself and others because I did not have an extended Heating as well as Air Conditioning warranty. The dispatcher had to say some loud “ahems” as my thoughts drifted to the next month when my gas furnace would be back on & I could let out a sigh of relief. When I know about it, that Heating as well as Air Conditioning dispatcher was almost as fantastic at “mhms” as I am.