1  3 4 5 6 7 » 27
I don't think the test was easy, and I'm sure I made some lucky guesses. Then again, after living in ... feelings from their facial expressions than I ever was before. It's necessary in cultures that do not value emotional openness.

Which do? I'm so used to living in societies that prefer faked emotion to the real thing that it seldom occurs to me to wonder if it's any different anywhere. We've developed it to a high tech skill level in the west, where even the recorded messages we hear over the phone and in supermarkets are spoken with fake smiles.

Michael West
Melbourne, Australia
Here's a fun test. The BBC has a "Spot the fake smile" test. 20 pictures of people smiling. How many can you spot? My score: 18/20 http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles /

I did rather poorly 12 right out of 20. Half of the eight wrong were for guessing "genuine" instead of "fake." (You can figure out the other half, I would guess.)
The eyes got my attention on every photo, but they weren't as revealing as I thought that or I misread them.
Maria Conlon
"Let a smile be your umbrella" is not particularly good advice.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Michael West wrote on 06 Jun 2004:
I don't think the test was easy, and I'm sure ... It's necessary in cultures that do not value emotional openness.

Which do? I'm so used to living in societies that prefer faked emotion to the real thing that it seldom ... the west, where even the recorded messages we hear over the phone and in supermarkets are spoken with fake smiles.

You make a good point there, Michael. I agree that you've described the USA I've been visiting for the past 20 years, but I'm talking about what people are willing to reveal in their teacher-student, friend-friend (but not "best" friend), and coworker relationships. Also, Japanese and Taiwanese have frequently expressed to me their amazement at the kinds of things that Americans esepcially are willing to reveal about their personal lives. And I've never had a Japanese or Taiwanese friend or student of any age who expressed any uncertainty about how a fellow Japanese or Taiwanese felt about them, but I've often heard ex-pat Americans complain about never knowing whether their Japanese(1) acquaintances "really" like them or are just faking it. It ain't personal; it's business.
Sometimes, though, I'm shocked at what some of the students in my class will tell me about themselves. They share secrets with me that they'd never share with their friends or parents, but that is because I am like their grandfather, they say, and because I am so open and personal with them within appropriate limits, of course about my own life.
(1) I don't include Taiwanese here because I just don't know that many non-Taiwanese here, and the few that I do have been here for so many years that they don't have that problem, or else I don't know them well enough to discuss such things. I live in the country, not in the city, where most foreigners live, and I rarely socialize with anyone except a couple of Taiwanese doctor friends I've known for 6 or 7 years.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
On 6 Jun 2004 11:26:51 GMT, CyberCypher
Django Cat wrote on 06 Jun 2004:

I've never noticed that before, but you're right, I see it in my Chinese female students. But then I thought the Asian girl was genuine.

I am on my second Asian wife (first one from Shanghai and second one from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan). Asian women are no more or less "genuine" than other women.

I'm sure. 'Genuine' as in I didn't pick the asian lady on the BBC quiz as being one of the fake smilers.
The only important differences are the
cultural values that Western and Asian women do not share but that Asian men and women do. Western men have to learn how to read people from cultures other than own, which means, of course, learning something about the other culture and its values.

Younger people are harder to spot? Or is it east-west eye structures?

I don't have any trouble spotting old or young phonies (also "phoneys").

Well, you brought up eye wrinkles. As you get older you get more of them, so maybe it becomes harder to fake a smile.
I got 15/20 of which I thought 3 fakes were ... about this being OT; I'm off down the cheese shop.

Fun is never off topic, and Donna's post made it totally on topic.

Certainly more on topic than sad people endlessly slaging each other off.

Cheers
DC
You no longer need the www for bbc.co.uk websites. The ... can now get rid of the damn thing completely. Matti

Until very recently I could record their online programmes (which only stay online 7 days) to play back later using ... straight audio recording, but with a dial-up it's not very satifactory. Oh tempora (that's enough oriental food) o mores. DC

Having bought some software to record "listen again" programmes and never having got to grips with it properly, I was delighted to discover this week that now, when I click on a programme to play it, an automatic message asks if I want to save it. With entertainment on bus and train journeys fully sorted, all I need now is for someone to invent a gizmo for the car into which I can plug my dongle.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
On 6 Jun 2004 03:07:28 GMT, CyberCypher
(Email Removed) wrote, in part:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles /

Am I the only one who didn't know what to answer for "level of formal schooling"? (I assume "Degree level", but..)
Michael Hamm NB: Of late, my e-mail address is being AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis 'spoofed' a bit. That is, spammers send (Email Removed) e-mail that seems to be from me. Please http://math.wustl.edu/~msh210/ realize that no spam is in fact from me.
Here's a fun test. The BBC has a "Spot the ... smiling. How many can you spot? My score: 18/20 http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles /

I did rather poorly 12 right out of 20. Half of the eight wrong were for guessing "genuine" instead ... got my attention on every photo, but they weren't as revealing as I thought that or I misread them.

I did even worse: I got in late from the theater, and a couple of drinks, and didn't nitcie until I had clicked through about half of the faces thinking "but none of these people are smiling", that you were supposed to click on a button first. So I gave up and went to bed.

So, how did they know that the genuine smiles weren't fake?

Fran
I got 14/20.

Me too!
What's ironic is that the most answers I got right I wasn't sure about the answer, but the answers I got wrong I was sure I was right.
I might have gotten a few more if they had defined their terms a bit better. There were a couple ... smile could certainly be a genuine response to some situation. But the experimenters appear to have counted them as "fake."

I believe a genuine smile is an expression of joy. The joy doesn't need to be 'good', a sardonic smile may be genuine.
By the same token, "fake" doesn't need to be 'bad'. Nancy Reagan's nowadays much talked about forced simle when asked about "how is Ron" qualifies as a fake smile.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
(This followup was posted to alt.usage.english and a copy was sent to the cited author.)
Laura F Spira typed thus:
Having bought some software to record "listen again" programmes and never having got to grips with it properly, I was ... I need now is for someone to invent a gizmo for the car into which I can plug my dongle.

If your car has a tape player, you can buy (v cheaply) a dummy cassette which has a wire emerging from it - you plug the wire into the headphone socket of your mp3 player. Like this http://tinyurl.com/2joeg
Sadly, my car has no cassette player, and its CD player doesn't read MP3 CDs, so I have to make full size CDs of the programmes I've missed.

David
==
Show more