Just Write: Not every conversation should be for all the world to hear
By Bobby Cherry
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Not necessarily a soft-spoken person, I've grown used to finding my “inside voice” at times.
Whether I'm thumbing through bookshelves at a library, sitting in a doctor's office waiting room or strolling the aisles of a store, I always have found it disrespectful to be loud in a public place that isn't a sporting event or a concert venue.
Perhaps it was my upbringing, as my parents always encouraged me to be respectful of my setting.
At the risk of sounding like someone on the cusp of telling a “When I was your age...” story, it seems being respectful of shared public spaces is a thing of the past.
Last week, while perusing clothing racks at a Macy's, another customer shared his entire conversation with those of us shopping.
I moved away but continued to hear his end of the conversation from several clothing racks away. I knew his plans for Easter and what he was hoping to buy in the store.
His bellowing laugh seemed to ricochet off the walls.
It was as if this man was lounging on his couch at home.
A store isn't necessarily a “quiet zone” such as a church, library or hospital, but it seems even hard-and-fast rules in those places have mellowed.
Once regarded as a place to quietly read and study, many libraries now allow patrons to hold conversations at levels they'd use at home or in restaurants.
Perhaps the most awkwardly loud place was at the last funeral viewing I attended.
I was somewhat appalled to find such a large amount of chatter.
Sometimes these gatherings bring together people who might not have seen each other in quite awhile, but at times, I felt as though I was at a backyard barbecue rather than 30 feet away from paying our respects to a man we all knew.
I'm not out to “shush” the world like the stereotypical librarian we all feared in school, but a little common courtesy knowing that not everybody wants to join your party can go a long way.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former NFL player to speak at Sewickley Academy on obstacles gays face
- Dinner, wine event at Sewickley Heights Golf Club to benefit American Cancer Society
- Quaker Valley first county district to offer Fresh Healthy Vending services
- Quaker Valley superintendent: ‘No community is immune’ to violence