Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers
Back at school, we used to play Chinese Whispers. Starting from one corner of the classroom, a phrase was whispered into the ear of the adjacent student. This was transmitted in the same way to the next student sitting in close proximity. The chain thus generated continued passing on the phrase from neighbour to neighbour horizontally and vertically across the spread of rows and columns. 

The final recipient of the whisper would utter the phrase out loud. The class would be amused and overwhelmed at the revelation. The original combination of words and its eventually evolved version are usually poles apart. Along the ear-mouth transmission line, the phrase is likely to experience a series of contorted distortions. Consequently, a new combination of words is generated which is typically nothing like the original.

In English language, the phrase Chinese Whispers is used to denote 'inaccurately transmitted gossip' as might be guessed from the game described above. As a person narrates a story to another person, and that other person tells the story to a third party, and the chain progressively passes the story among several other people, the inaccuracies incurred at each step of the transmission line transform the story.

A crudely comparable comical scene is sometimes created in interactions with a person who is hard of hearing. With time and age, organs of the human body start to deteriorate affecting their functionality. Likewise, the hearing machinery can also get impaired causing loss of hearing. Information reaching the ear lobes might be interpreted to mean something very different. Though one should be considerate of such physical ailments experienced by others, the conversations thus generated can be quite entertaining.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.
    Pakistani Bridal Dresses