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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Monday Night Owls - 22 July 2019 - The power of silence

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,139 Teacher
We read an article which talked about the power of uncomfortable silences:


Vocabulary Top 10:

Anglophone - having English as the main language

acquainted with - knowing each other in a personal or social way; having knowledge about something : having seen or experienced something

a pitch - things that are said by someone (such as a salesman) in order to make someone want to buy, do, or accept something

adhere to - to act in the way that is required by (something, such as a rule, belief, or promise)

adage - an old and well-known saying that expresses a general truth

concocting - to invent or develop (a plan, story, etc.) especially in order to trick or deceive someone; also: to make (a food or drink) by mixing different things together

testimony - something that someone says especially in a court of law while formally promising to tell the truth

grit your teeth - to show courage and determination when you are dealing with problems or challenges

impassive - not showing emotion

concession - the act of giving up something or doing something in order to reach agreement

If you are with an acquaintance, do you feel comfortable staying quiet, or do you feel the need to start talking?
Do you think these types of silences could be useful for you?

@Shiny03 @Ezîza @Rema @aladdin @taghried


  • BassaBassa Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    Hi @NatashaT , If I’m with an acquaintance my feeling would change depending what acquaintance it is ...
    Fully agree with article saying that silence is something not embarrassingly when you don’t think you have to talk for strength ...
    I suppose if you are thinking “say something, say something ...” probably You are not comfortable in that situation ... if you stay good with a person simply time goes one ...
    In other cases...I would say depends... Silent could be, as well explained in the article, a double cut weapon sometimes......but remembering a way of say : to speak I regretted, to not speaking a never regretted...sometimes silent is gold !
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Silence is very important in my life, if anything because it's so rare and difficult to get.

    When it comes to speaking and pauses, in Italy there are a few adages, which perhaps better explain Italian attitude towards the silence:

    ' you can never get a beautiful silence '

    ' Those who stay quiet ( certainly ) agree '

    as for the people who keep speaking without ever stopping, who are quiet talkative, we use to say:

    ' speaking a lot comes from not knowing enough '.

    So maybe, our culture prizes a few seconds gap, just to allow the other person to add something, or maybe just to think more deeply about the last statement.

    Surely I could sustain a prolonged silence, even though the conversation might turn from compelling to apparently boring.

    I myself don't feel embarrassed during a pause: you can fill that suspended moments in different ways: you can smile to your interlocutor, you can watch them more attentively.

    You can re-run in your mind's ears what has already been said, to reason on that at more ease and thoroughly in any single detail.

    You can even indulge at forming a dreamy picture of the person who is standing or sitting in front of you at the moment.

    That's the magic of pauses within a conversation.

    In my adolescence I was rather an introvert boy and I remember enjoying long silences as magic companions too: you know silences combined with the imaginative pristine mind of a child could make anything possible and real.

    Those were authentic experiences of happiness.

    I also enjoyed playing with my friends though, but I felt often uncomfortable due to my extreme shyness.

    Sometimes, my clumsy ways to communicate my inner feelings made me do poor figures; I became the amusement of the entire company: to the point so that I sometimes regretted having the ability to speak at all: I ended up thinking my feelings should just express themselves by silences.

    They were my unique comfort zone, and I locked into my own shell.

    Unfortunately, though, this mental seclusion as an adolescent affected in some way my familiar life as well and my social attitude in general.

    Therefore, I can say that silences can be useful and valuable just if they don't last too long: if anything, because they are beneficial to someone and detrimental to others, relative to anyone's diversely marked sociality's needs.

    Today I still think your inner-most feelings don't need many words, they are just superfluous, they only do harm.

    Just today got notice that our Forum is going to shut down. I want to think how good, helpful and unforgettable has been my 5 years experience on Forum among friends.

    This hour feelings, now, don't need any more words.. just have to listen intimately to them... enjoy the silence... one more time.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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