Appealing to the Listener’s feelings is the Function called Emotional Expression. It is used by a Speaker for the purpose of moving another person to act, to move in the particular direction the Speaker wants that person to move. Filipinos can be moved to tears by a movie, a TV drama, or a song. A Speaker may appeal to Filipino Listeners by disclosing how he/she was also moved by that particular movie, TV drama, or song. Photos of suffering or devastation tug at the heartstrings of a Filipino.
- Verbal cues are the chosen words used specifically to achieve this Function. The Speaker and the Listener, when using verbal cues, should be respectful of each other’s culture as well as of their age, gender, social status, and religion. Words that may appeal to men may not appeal to women. There are words children use that the elderly might find insulting and vice versa. Also, be careful about using English words in different cultures. For example, the word “gift” means poison in German. So do not tell a German visitor that one has a gift for him/her. Words should be carefully chosen.
- Nonverbal cues include hand gestures, bodily action (including posture), vocal tone (paralanguage), and eye contact. The Speaker and the Listener, when using nonverbal cues, should be respectful of each other’s culture as well as of their age, gender, social status, and religion. When we appeal to someone by using emotions, we accompany this appeal with touching, hand holding or hugging, or even putting an arm around someone’s shoulder. Certain societies do not allow women and men to touch, while others still frown on men and women intermingling freely (unless they are married or related by blood). This has to be considered when using the Function of Emotional Expression.