Exceptional Expressions for Everyday Events
Talking is, of course, a ubiquitous human activity. In schools, students talk to one another in the classroom, on the playground, or in the lunchroom. Teachers talk to give instruction or to counsel students. Students talk to teachers to respond to questions or to express a concern. Describing different types of talking is one way to bring exceptional expressions into everyday events.
The word talk can be used as a verb as well as a noun. To talk is to communicate verbally, through speaking rather than writing. Since the way we talk carries with it our emotions and goals, spoken communication can take many forms. Shouting, whispering, and preaching convey very different attitudes on the part of the speaker, which in turn will affect the reactions of those who hear what is said.
Talk as a noun is the act of verbally communicating. A teacher can have a talk with his or her students about bullying. As with the verb talk, there are a variety of synonyms for the noun talk. For example, a teacher can have a serious discussion or conversation about bullying.
- How is articulating different from talking?
- How might a discussion be different from an utterance? A speech?
The Spanish Connection
Talk comes from a Middle English word, talkien or talken. The Spanish word for to talk is hablar. Hablar is not a Spanish cognate of to talk.
- Some synonyms of talk are also used as both verbs and nouns, for example, chat, lecture, and gossip.
- Many of the idioms and common phrases for talk incorporate the mannerism and intent of the speaker. For example, a person who “talks big” is someone who is boasting. “To talk in circles” is to repeat the same idea in a different manner that reveals nothing new and may even confuse the listener.