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I am so glad that I live in twenty first century India and not sixteenth or seventeenth century Britain when the British would put a gossiper’s head in an iron cage with spikes so that the gossiper wouldn’t be able to speak! I am happy to have the liberty to announce among people that from time to time I love juicy bits of gossip. Of course when I speak with my friends, I denounce gossipers saying that they have nothing better to do. My doing such snobbish talk is also gossiping.

Turns out I am not the only one who loves gossip. People lap up gossip magazines and supplements far more than the main newspaper or serious reading. In companies, getting coffee or going out for a smoke in a herd are active times for gossip. Employees gossip about bosses and each other. When I sit gossiping with my intelligent neighbour, we gossip about servants, work, politicians, society, and other members of our apartment complex. The maid-servants gossip about the people they work for. They brand certain people as ‘good to work for’ or ‘not –good-to-work-for’. So gossip is not simply a ritual to show others as inferior. The article today indicates the usefulness of gossip – one of the most ancient conversations of humans that persists. It shows how gossip serves as an important tool for learning – my mother learnt some delicious ways to cook by observing, asking questions, and talking about it. By discussing who does it better and why does a particular lady cook something better, the people involved learn what works and what doesn’t.

And, there’s more on how good is gossip: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/have-you-heard-gossip-is-actually-good-and-useful/382430/?single_page=true

 

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