Conversation is generally face-to-face person-to-person at the same time (synchronous) – possibly online with video applications such as Skype, but might also include audio-only phone calls. It would not generally include internet written communication which tends to be asynchronous (not same time – can read and respond later if at all) and does not fit the ‘con’=’with’ in ‘conversation’. In face to face conversation it has been suggested that 85% of the communication is non-verbal/body language – a smile, a frown, a shrug, tone of voice conveying much added meaning to the mere words. Short forms of written communication such as SMS are thus frequently misunderstood.
No generally accepted definition of conversation exists, beyond the fact that a conversation involves at least two people talking together. Consequently, the term is often defined by what it is not. A ritualized exchange such as a mutual greeting is not a conversation, and an interaction that includes a marked status differential (such as a boss giving orders) is also not a conversation. An interaction with a tightly focused topic or purpose is also generally not considered a conversation. Summarizing these properties, one authority writes that “Conversation is the kind of speech that happens informally, symmetrically, and for the purposes of establishing and maintaining social ties.
Many conversations can be divided into four categories according to their major subject content:
Subjective ideas, which often serve to extend understanding and awareness.
- Objective facts, which may serve to consolidate a widely held view.
- Other people (usually absent), which may be either critical, competitive, or supportive. This includes gossip.
- Oneself, which sometimes indicate attention-seeking behavior or can provide relevant information about oneself to participants in the conversation.
- definitely Conversation is interactive communication between two or more people. The development of conversational skills and etiquette is an important part of socialization. The development of conversational skills in a new language is a frequent focus of language teaching and learning. Conversation analysis is a branch of sociology which studies the structure and organization of human interaction, with a more specific focus on conversational interaction.