Hat-tips, Handshakes, Hashtags and Hearing the Sounds of Silence

Aug 26, 2018 at 10:00 am by Paulette Jackson

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people
 maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices
never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
~Simon and Garfunkel

Communication: Defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.”

Many of us might tend to think of communication as verbal, but a look at history and today’s world reveals that a large part of our communication takes place, as Simon and Garfunkel tell us, via sounds of silence. In light of this, I have chosen four types of silent communication to highlight in this article, for perspective and relevancy to current culture: Hat-tips, Handshakes, Hashtags, and Hearing the Sounds of Silence.

Hat-tipping has been traditionally understood as an honored gesture of courtesy among men in Western Societies of the 19th and 20th centuries. Considered a common, non-verbal greeting, the symbolic, submissive posture serves to bridge encounters between social classes, gender and strangers. The rules of hat-tipping, listed below, give us insight to the meaning of particular hat-tipping gestures, as a polite behavior, demonstrating respect and courtesy.

  • If there is no particular acknowledgment or consideration, it is acceptable for the hat to stay on. However, for those who have worn a hat for a long time, the raising or tipping of the hat may have become a natural response, in fostering gentlemanly deportment.
  • A tipping of the hat, up or down, is the sign of particular acknowledgment. Among male friends, it communicates “howdy” or “Hello, good sir.”
  • Distinguished Respect: When greeting a person of respect; a lady, an older gentleman, or someone of respect – as a public official or local hero, it is proper to give a brief, full raise of the hat.
  • Reverential Respect: For meeting someone new, or for showing reverence, as for a prayer, the hat comes off and held, until after the meeting or prayer has passed.

The Handshake. The practice of shaking hands, also known as dexiosis, is a ritual which can be traced to Ancient Greece, dating as far back as 5th century B.C.  Common and specific to different cultures, the handshake is originally believed to have been a gesture of peace, silently communicating that the hands held no weapon.

The handshake is still an expression of good-will among friends. Generally thought of as a casual greeting in our culture, below are a few rules of etiquette with which we might be familiar.

  • The hand should be taken firmly and with a light pressure. After the initial grasp, the hand should be pressed gently and relinquished quietly. Eye contact during this brief exchange is also important.
  • Two ladies shake hands gently and softly.
  • A young lady gives her hand but does not shake the hand of a gentleman unless he is a friend.
  • On introduction in a room, a married lady generally offers her hand.

The #Hashtag: 
A term that has become a household name, we first heard of hashtag in 2007 from an American technologist and advocate for open sourcing and standards. The purpose of hashtag was to connect content from social media sites, like facebook and Twitter, streaming it with social media web traffic and shared viral content.  The stream of traffic from this sequence can have a tremendous impact on the number of visitors to various media sights – and in turn, significantly affect sales, free of charge and silently.

Hearing the Sounds of Silence: Writers and artists come to my mind when I think of people who talk without speaking. One of the rewards of writing for me is learning from my own processing.  When I write, I engage with my own cause - and - effect essay.  I also hope to engage readers in a similar way, encouraging reflection and bringing new insights to processing, together.

Good communication is important, but whatever communication we choose, whether verbal or non-verbal, I hope our intention is to connect with others, inspire and support, with grace, from one soul to another.

G.K. Chesterton, 20th century author, said about the meaning of our relationships and our communication:

“All true friendliness begins with fire and food and drink, and the recognition of rain or frost. Each human soul has, in a sense, to enact for itself the gigantic humility of the Incarnation. Every man must descend into the flesh to meet mankind,”

As a new contributor to the Murfreesboro Voice, I am honored to join the voices of other writers.

Our Voice
~Paulette Jackson

There is a unique part of each of us
who can always be heard
but never seen
Our voice

Who lives in our mind
and goes where we go
And replies to all our yeses and noes
That one we’ve always wanted
in person to meet
None-the-less remains
An identity discreet
Our voice

Sometimes silent
and often not
by choice
when we are alone

But oh, how lively
are the discourses shared
and rabbit trails roamed
when with other voices
we gather to compare
A feeling like home
to me

And an opportunity
for us all to share
Our voice


Thank you.

Paulette Jackson

photo credit: 

https://wolf&Iron Hat Tips: The Rules for Manly Etiquette

research credits:
Etiquipedia.blogspot.com Etiquette of Bows, Kissing, Handshaking for Ladies and Gentlemen
Wikipedia: The Handshake
Power Yourself With Viral Marketing. B/C Hashtag Genius. Huffington Post. 9/17 


Excellent article.
Enjoyed your article. Thanks for sharing.
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