Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Unspoken Behavioral Rules of Americans

New York Time -- Nov 16, 2006

How do you feel when people get within
necking distance [distance of kissing & embracing] of you when they speak? Or when strangers who stand very near to you on line? Or when people who take the bathroom stall next to yours when every other one is available? Perhaps people from different cultures require different range of distance to each other. However, Americans, conquerors of the wild frontier, generally prefer more personal space than people from any other cultures. They will likely angle and inch their bodies away from anyone they feel breached their buffer zone.

Scientiests have recently found new evidence in a cyber game about this unwritten rules of personal space. Researchers found that some of the avatars' (digital representations of the humans that control them) physical behavior was
in keeping [conformity or harmony] with studies how humans protect their personal space. In other words, the digital beings adhered to some unspoken behavioral rules of humans even though they were but pixels on a screen.

I myself figured this out from my daily life experience. Most of the customers in a department store will say "excuse me" when they walk pass someone who is also at the same aisle, even though they will not brush agaist each other's backsides. This is because they do not want to disturb his or her personal space. Being an expatriate [One who has taken up residence in a foreign country], I accept and learn American way by saying "excuse me" when I need to walk pass someone who is in a close distance with me.


*sit or stand equidistant from one another like birds on a wire

*dub - to give a name to facetiously or playfully; nickname

*leer - sly or insinuating glance [the man is leering at you]
*entrench - fix in strong position
*overture - to present or make an offer or proposal to [the man's overtures of friendship...]
*critter - living creature [being touched by a strange critter]


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