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The Serious Business of Small Talk by Carol Fleming

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CONCLUSIONSmall Talk Just May Be Bigger than You Think

AND IT’S BETTER THAN YOU THINK

We have greatly expanded upon the vocabulary and syntax of human communication over the millennia—nearly seven thousand languages are currently spoken on Earth—but how much have we changed that part of our communication found in the vocal tone and the face and body, that part of our talking which is so readily available and eloquent in face-to-face conversation?

Not so much.

Once more, from biolinguist John Locke:

While it is true that vocalization enables us to talk, the display of our selves through the voice may be the primary reason for conversing, a motive likely to be unknown even to the participants themselves.

This assertion of Locke’s is rarely made ...

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