Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Grunt is Worth a Thousand Words

I've learned a lot of things from my dad. Inadvertently he taught me some of my most valuable life lessons, things such as how to properly combine colors in an outfit (my dad can pull off pastels like no other), how to iron your pants to perfection and how to make the perfect omelet. But I think the most important lesson he taught me was the power of the grunt (his lessons on how to be good person comes in as a close second on my list). The grunt is an integral part of the human language, used at the dawn of time by caveman and still used in conversations today. Yet the grunt that I am referring to is not the barbaric gurgle of yonder, it is a tool of civilized restraint, a tool that I feel is underutilized in today's invasive society.

My dad has always been the soft spoken type, using words sparingly and only when appropriate. When you ask my father a question there is not guarantee that you will receive an answer, most of the times you receive a murmur or a grunt as a response. I think it is due my dad's laconic nature that he is often viewed as slightly intimidating, since his air of indifference and coolness are in sharp contrast with most people's neediness to talk (albeit mostly about themselves) with other people . Due to the fact I have not inherited my father's deep throaty voice or a mustache (thankfully) I have found other ways to acquired his swagger of mystery. This is where my discovery of the inscrutable grunt began.

Now think about it, how incredible it would be if you could forgo any uneasy question with just a whirl of sound? In today's intrusive society people ask questions that step over the line of privacy. As someone with a sharing problem (includes objects and information) there are certain things that I just would rather to keep to myself. But if I say this as a response to a pushy question half the time I end up looking like some type of tight lipped freak show. Which is why I whip out the age old, never obsolete grunt. These are just some of the scenarios where the grunt can be useful"
Q. How old are you?
A. You know around...mmh.
Q.What did you get on that Calc exam?
A. Ah I think a got a mmmmh.

Now the grunt takes some practice, at first people might just think you are severely hungry and have just spotted something delicious. But when perfected, the grunt is an invaluable tool of circumspect speech. In age that glorifies magazines that reveal every aspect of a celebrity's life and in age that finds it acceptable to stalk other people's news feeds sometimes you just need to keep some things for yourself. Not to mention when you use less words people take the words you do say more seriously With the grunt you become a bit more alluring, acquiring a mystique that keeps people guessing and wondering about you. I plan to employ the grunt in many of my future conversations because everyone needs a bit a silence once in a while.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You may acquire the art of the grunt, but no one will ever be as mysterious, yet intimidating, yet perfectly cool like abu. But good luck to you.