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Word Count: 927
In Sissela Boks Secrets she quotes the American Heritage Dictionary for the definition of gossip It is defined as trifling often groundless rumor usually of a personal sensational or intimate nature idle talk Gossips very nature brings along danger People risk friendships jobs and other important parts of life everyday to engage in it Where does an innocent conversation about current events cross over to gossip Why participate in gossip What makes it so dangerous According to Bok The seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England Puritans illustrate in their writings the intensity with which human lives may be raked over both in soul searching and in talking about the lives of others Gossip entails talking about the lives of others Telling a friend about another friend in Italy on a vacation does not fall under the category of gossip Talking becomes gossip when the conversation takes a turn to the dark side When evil intentions carry the conversation when a giddy tone is in the dialogue telling of the friends habits with respect to relationships when all the dirty stories are toldthen gossip has been committed There are a few more restrictions on what true gossip is Bok writes Gossipis not only about persons but about persons absent isolated or excluded It is never about the participants themselves Thus to qualify gossip must be in secret of this sort Gossip is not what paved the road to heaven Why then do we do it Answering a question with another may be more confusing but it brings forth a good point Why do people break the law Gossips malevolence is clear and plain yet people still participate We know it is perilous to friendships jobs maybe even life itself in extreme cases Bok gives many explanations In one of them she states Part of the universal attraction of gossip is the occasion it affords for comparing oneself with others usually silently while seeming to be speaking strictly
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