Saturday, March 8, 2014

Body Language

What we communicate is not limited to the words we use.  Expression and gesture, body language and tone ... all that and now, emoticons!  I made up the numbers, though.

Welcome to the new world of vocabularic emoticonisms!  :)

There is no rigid agreement yet on the icons or their meanings. Emoticonical speech is a digital/graphical extension of non-verbal expression and is a relatively young language component.

The origin of such non-verbal content rests perhaps with the instinctive facial and gestural expressions we all find in ourselves.  It is normally subconscious, but can be conscious and deliberate if we choose.  We can deliberately be welcoming, respectful, appreciative, encouraging, or otherwise without saying a word; just expression and body language.

Emoticons are digital fill-ins for all of that normal body language content, of course.  It's a recreational and entertaining form of the non-verbal things we do naturally, and it's just a small foray in that direction.
Body language is hugely informative.  If we're perceptive, we'll see these things clearly in children. Even without emoticons, children show us the open expression of their heart without any filters being applied.  A perceptive person notices such things and is careful to read body language clearly in order to understand what is being communicated.

An extraordinary minority will speak up here and point out that they learned this particular skill from their dog. Dog people are usually nicer. We probably need puppymoticons.

P.S. There's a wealth of wisdom available in understanding how our communication actually works.

He that wisely holdeth his tongue and considereth first his noble goal, doth a service to both himselfeth and to himeth whom he wouldeth have otherwise clobberedth.

James 1:19
(It was that kind of a week)