The Call-on-Hold as Conversational Resource

Date
2005
Authors
Bilmes, Jack
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Mouton
Abstract
The call-on-hold can be an interational resource, a means for disengaging oneself from troublesome situations. Unlike a ringing phone, which demands immediate attention, the call-on-hold permits a certain degree of delay and so can more readily be turned to interactional use. In call-in talk shows, where the calls are “what is going on” rather than momentary diversions from the business at hand, the call-on-hold offers unique tactical opportunities for conversationalists. This paper analyzes one incident from a televised talk show, in which the taking of a call is used “subversively” to disguise the nature of a speaker’s conversational actions. It demonstrates how a seemingly disjointed utterance is exquisitely constructed to achieve this end.
Description
Keywords
conversation analysis, telephone calls, talk shows
Citation
Bilmes, Jack. The Call-on-Hold as Conversational Resource. TEXT, 25, 2005. PP. 149-170
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