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We have a wide vocabulary to describe gossip. We converse. We yak. We learn the rumor. We dish, chat, and chew the fat. We learn about it through rumor and word-of-mouth, occasionally directly from the source. The tongues wag. All of this frivolous chit-chat must be about something significant to require such a large and vibrant vocabulary. We all engage in it. Few individuals openly confess it, but we all engage in gossip. Even some of us enjoy it. While some cultures and faiths frown upon the practice more than others, gossip occurs in one form or another among people of all ages all over the world. When biologists looked at samples of human interactions, they discovered that 60 percent of the time was spent discussing relationships and personal experiences.
One has to ask if there is some fundamental human value to something we all do so frequently. Not always has gossip been associated with undesirable behavior. The term “gossip” originally referred to someone who shared news about a family and its happenings with a close friend or godparents. A gossip in Shakespeare’s day was also someone who sat next to a woman while she gave birth, maybe to chat, comfort her, or just to pass the time. It is now described as “idle discussion or rumor, especially concerning the personal or private concerns of others” or as “rumor our chat of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.” Someone who embodies the stereotype of a gossip goes by labels like blabbermouth and rumormonger. They are seen as intrusive, nosy, and meddling busybodies. The word’s original meaning was obscured by idle chatter and rumor-mongering at some point in history.
Our ability to communicate has advanced, and with it has come an increase in the speed of our chatter. All day long, short messages about this person or that, this star or that politician, fly around us.

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