Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity. By analogy, the word silence can also refer to any absence of communication, including in media other than speech. Silence is also used as total communication, in reference to non verbal communication and spiritual connection. Silence also refers to no sounds uttered by anybody in a room or area. Silence is an important factor in many cultural spectacles, as in rituals.
In discourse analysis, speakers use brief absences of speech to mark the boundaries of prosodic units. Silence in speech can be hesitation, stutters, self-correction—or deliberate slowing of speech to clarify or aid processing of ideas. These are short silences. Longer pauses in language occur in interactive roles, reactive tokens, or turn-taking.
According to cultural norms, silence can be positive or negative. For example, in a Christian Methodist faith organization silence and reflection during the sermons might be appreciated by the congregation, while in a Southern Baptist church, silence might mean disagreement with what is being said, or perhaps disconnectedness from the congregated community.
Read more about Silence: Gestures, In Music, In Debate, In Law, In Danger, In Spirituality, Commemorative Silence
Famous quotes containing the word silence:
“Let thy West Wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver.”
—William Blake (17571827)
“The denial of our duty to act in this case is a denial of our right to act; and if we have no right to act, then may we well be termed the white slaves of the North, for like our brethren in bonds, we must seal our lips in silence and despair.”
—Angelina Grimké (18051879)
“Speech is better than silence; silence is better than speech.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)