The Demographics Of Decibels

The noise level in a Spanish restaurant is tremendous, but that is not because anybody is shouting or behaving uncouthly; what is happening is that everybody is merely talking, but quite loudly – no doubt because of both the Latin sense of the dramatic and the stadium effect of trying to be heard against the background of everyone else doing the same thing.

Contrast this with a similar scene anywhere in Northern Europe. Most people will be talking more quietly than the Spaniards, but a minority will be considerably louder, engaged in an activity too uncouth to deserve the noble name of conversation, and with a solipsistic disregard for everybody else. Also with a high likelihood of their initiating physical violence against people who are doing them no harm, something that hardly ever happens in Spain. This goes to show that it takes more than a couple of centuries of economic dominance to make a civilisation.

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 21:29 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: CULTURAL ODDS AND ENDS, Odds And Ends, Miscellaneous

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