Physics

Echo



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Being a sociology major in college I often am a people watcher and find these odd human behaviors interesting. I was listening to the radio the other day and a commercial came on that had an echo on it. I don't remember what it was advertising but the woman said "hello, hello" then she said " echo, echo". Well that is the part that got my attention...why do people have to say the word echo after they hear the echo? Have you ever sat and thought about it? I find things like this fascinating because it's something that is automatic that really shouldn't be. It is one of those learned things that we have seen others do on television so then we just do it. Would we utter the word 'echo' if we hadn't heard it before?

We know now that in a large vacant room that inevitably there will be an 'echo'. So why, I ask, do we feel the need to say the word 'echo'? It's not as if the word magically makes the echo happen. The echo is going to happen whether we say it or not...for instance that the woman in the radio advertisement said hello before she said echo. The science behind echo is very interesting in the first place but the fact that humans are still fascinated by it is even more interesting. Why is it that everytime we go in a huge room we automatically say the word 'echo'? It is as if we know it will happen yet we still do it. We know that echos happen because sound reverberates through the walls that we are in and having an open space. But we still just have an automatic response. There are many automatic responses in human nature. We have been trained to have certain answers for certain situations because socially that is what is acceptible. However, these all mostly correspond to social situations but the echo is one that combines social and science situations. We feel socially when we encounter an echo we must say 'echo' but scientifically it is already implied.

I like to think of how words were made up in the first place. Who thought of the word 'echo' and why did he choose that word? Furthermore again, why do we as humans have to use the word when we feel an echo is going to happen? However, if we aren't sure or think of an echo happening we say a regular word like hello first and then we must say that word 'echo' as if to assure us that there is an echo present. Again I find these human behaviors quite interesting. It makes me ponder of what other words we say to assure us that an action is happening?

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