Monday, August 6, 2018

Dead Air!

Historical Photo:
Uncle Sam and Aunt Janie Fulbright. They worked at the Art Cloth mill in the 1930s. Uncle Sam was known for his statement: In school I heard about a very poor family on that old dirt road on which they lived. He said he was nearly grown before he learned it was his family. He later became a 'super' in the cotton mills.

In radio broadcasting the term has been around for a long time, on the radio no one likes ‘dead air.’ Disc Jockeys have told me that their biggest problem with hours on air is the personal toilet time. One of them was to announce three consecutive songs on an album, or the longest commercial they had. They all had tricks so they would not end up ‘away from the mike’ at the end of a record.

Some public speakers KNOW how to use ‘dead air’ or what we would call ‘a pause’. I have tried to analyze my favorite speakers and come to the conclusion they know just how long to pause (to let their words sink in).  Some speakers think they are supposed to fill every second of their time behind the mike, squeezing every ounce allowed them. And in my opinion end up wasting time because their message did not get across.
Some folk pause so long I want to help them. 

And then…. there is the ‘Never DEAD AIR!’

I am familiar with some people who can talk an hour straight, and the listener only has time to say, ‘Yes’ or ‘OK’ or just uh huh, every once in a while.  I remember as a kid we called them ‘motor-mouths’.

Do you know anyway to tactfully interrupt or let them know they are dominating your conversation? I honestly don’t think all of them know, that they are the only one really talking.

There are some ‘caller IDs I know I should never answer! Soo speaking to you, my friends, this clarifier. if I don't answer your phone call, it is because I am in the toilet, not because you are a motor mouth.  ;-)

Nite Shipslog

PS:  We are fortunate to have Armin and his wife Julie with us for a couple days. Armin is Shirl's hubby Jim's oldest son. It is such a joy to catch up on their lives. They have one married son and one in the USMC!
This was big on the race circuits in the mid 50s.


Mevely317 said...

Dead air, dead-air, dddddeaaaad air. Yup. I've felt so embarrassed on behalf of the disc jockey.
You make a good point about critical pauses, Jack. I think nerves have lots to do with less skilled speakers. Gotta admit, I'm married to a 'motor mouth' … I've no hints, but have been known to elbow my love once or twice, three times.

So glad you and Sherry are enjoying the opportunity to mend bridges with Jim's son!

betty said...

Enjoy the time with your visitors :)

I'm not happy when I hear "dead air" when I'm working. That means the doctor is not talking and collecting his thoughts or a half dozen other things and that means no money for me, LOL, since I'm paid on production. At times like that,I would appreciate if they were motor mouths, LOL :)


Chatty Crone said...

Interesting and true. It seems uncomfortable with silence.
I will tell you - don;'t know if you are a Mr. Rogers fan - but I went to see his bibliography - he had a very unique philosophy - but on his show - he did not have a laugh track or any noise filler. He wanted the silence. He would tie his shoes - in silence - and other things like that - he felt the world was too overwhelming for young kids and just wanted to be a calm presence and to let kids know they were important. Off my rant. Love, sandie

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Makes me think of the Pause that refreshes...We all need to take a pause and reflect now ant then and pause in life help to slow us down appreciate what matters. Enjoy the company and the happy memories. No dead air here...we had huge thunderstorms roll through here last night and today is very refreshing!


my daughter stopped by for a visit and i hardly got in two words edge wise. so i know what you mean.