Body Language EMBLEMS (typically hand and arm gestures) nonverbally communicate messages that are understood by people within the specific culture, group, association, or team.
Verbal words aren’t necessary because emblems have their own specific definition and are understand by those within the group.
For example, NFL officials use EMBLEMS during the football game to convey the decision of the play to the fans, the teams, and the spectators. According to the NFL Rule book, there are 36 Official Signs.
American Sign Language uses an entire language of emblems to communicate to the hearing impaired.
Emblems are not universal, so a non-sports fan may not know what the referee’s hand gesture for “Unnecessary Roughness” means. Or, a person who does not ‘speak’ American Sign Language will not understand the sign language hand gestures.
An enthusiastic ‘thumbs-up’ in the USA may have an offensive interpretation in West Africa, South America, Thailand, or the Middle-East. So when you travel abroad, watch out!
Emblems in one culture do not translate the same meaning across different cultures.
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