I come across many people in my life. They are my acquaintances, which are relationships less intimate than friendships. I always see them in the same places and participating in the same activities. My acquaintances are widely varied. I regularly interact with children, college students, and middle-aged adults. They each behave quite differently from each other. Some talk without even taking a breath between words, others speak little to none, and some speak without really saying anything at all.
The first group, the ones I interact with the most, is children. Children are quite free in their speech. They enjoy talking and often have long narratives about what is happening in their life and the lives of their families. Bailee is a perfect example. She told me just last week about her trip to the zoo in New Orleans. She told ...view middle of the document...
The second set of people I interact with regularly is college students. They are quite different from my children contacts, in that, they are not nearly as talkative and tend to share only what is absolutely necessary. I do not even know the names of these people that I talk to every week. For example, the young man who sits next to me in history class nods at me when we enter class, instead of giving a vocal greeting. The girl near me in literature only speaks when she requires information she may have missed in a previous class. Although this happens on a regular basis, our conversation never extends past the brief passing of information. Another girl, who I see twice a week in class, is very pleasant. She will talk if directly questioned, but does not initiate conversation, or feel the need to initiate conversations when we meet.
Finally, the third set of people I talk to regularly is middle-aged adults. These people speak every time we meet, yet they rarely say anything of any importance. The topics of discussion are limited to things unimportant, trivial, and safe. Every week I pass Mrs. Gertie on the way into church. We exchange pleasantries on how we are feeling and how the weather has been the past week. My conversations with Jason, my co-worker, usually involve checking on how each family member has fared since our last conversation and possibly the current hot topic of the workplace. My neighbor, Dr. Smith, walks by my house every day. He waves, says hello, and asks me if I think it is going to rain this week. I respond in kind.
As you can see, although I have many different kinds of acquaintances, they each differ in how they talk with me. Some are quite willing to talk and share their entire life history. Several only speak when they feel it is necessary to not appear rude, or if they require something from me. And there are those who speak regularly, but do not really have anything to say. Each vary in their speech characteristics, but all are still my acquaintances.