A Question for the World at Large

I’m laboring under several deadlines, so no time for a real post, but I do have a question that came up recently, in case anyone wants to weigh in.  Recently, as part of a very thorough and detailed critique of some of my writing, I ran across one odd thing.  One of my characters had nodded, and the reader asked whether I meant “nodding yes” or “nodding no”.  Is nodding “no” even a thing?  I’ve heard of nodding yes, nodding off, and nodding hello, but I thought it was understood that the “no” gesture was called “shaking one’s head”.

~ by smwilliams on October 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “A Question for the World at Large”

  1. Nod is an action, which by dictionary definition signals agreement. However, you could have a very mixed message depending upon what else was going on. “His head nodded and lolled to one side, as a stream of vomit issued forth.” He nodded stiffly; face screwed up in terror, his body held tight and erect.” “She gave a curt nod of disdain, and then, turning away smiled at the clown.” None of these signal universal acceptance, so if someone is asking you if the nod is ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ perhaps they’re confused by the other modifiers on the main action. Or perhaps they’re just sniffing glue again.

  2. Hey
    It’s been awhile. I still check out your website from time to time. You always remind me that I’m not doing enough to further my “writing career.” Thanks a lot. Anyway, how you be?
    As for nod, yes. I would say that nod is the universal body language for affirmative, unless of course you have some kind of body Dyslexia. Come to think of it, that could be used as a good defense. Hmmm.

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