resource help

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Oniw17, May 18, 2013.

  1. Oniw17 ascetic, sage, diogenes, bum? Valued Senior Member

    I want to learn everything that there is to know about body language and facial expressions. I want to master the more subtle parts of communication. I have a pretty good social life within which I may practice. Where do I start?
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  3. Rita Registered Member

    Golly gee there are a lot of books on the subject,d.cGE&fp=71ba2a12f7ac8652&biw=1280&bih=909

    I think it is interesting that our faces are more expressive than any other animal, and that we smile and show our teeth and think this is friendly, instead of a sign of aggression.

    If you have a lot of people to practice with, try hugging everyone. Do people relax into your hug or become ridged? What do you think their body language is saying?
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    We have something like 100 muscles in our face, five times as many as any other mammal, and most of them have no other function but communication.

    Obviously language was a technology that had to be invented. Archeologists and anthropologists suspect that it happened about 70 thousand years ago, because at that point they find evidence of an explosion in the scope, variety and intricacy of human activities, which could not possibly have been performed by people who were also using their hands for communication at the same time. So our ancestors had to communicate in other ways for millions of years before that happened. Their brains were still almost as large as ours so they had a lot to communicate about, so they had to settle for facial expressions and body language... in addition to the hand signals they had invented.

    Even though humans are obligate carnivores (before the invention of the technology of controlled fire for cooking, our ancestors could not have survived on the pathetic amount of protein available in nuts and seeds since grains and legumes have to be cooked), we are still apes and apes don't have the dentition necessary to do any serious attacking with our mouths. There's nothing really very scary about human teeth and we all know it. Even a horse--a herbivore!--can bite harder than we can.

    I hope he lives in California. In other parts of the USA hugging has not replaced the handshake as a standard greeting.

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    Probably, "Get away from me, you hippie creep!"

    Here in the Washington DC region, I find that women and Afro-Americans are fairly cool with hugging. But white men are not into it at all.

    And if you meet people from other cultures (which happens every ten minutes in a place like Washington), well just be really, really careful about any physical contact. Yes in parts of India and much of the Middle East, male friends actually walk around holding hands, but I don't know how they feel about hugging.

    And an American man had better not even THINK about hugging a foreign woman--unless she's European and these days that's not very foreign. Some of them feel so liberated by having "escaped" to America that they compulsively adopt all of our customs, including hugging. Others stick to the old ways.
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