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    • Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Could anybody help with this difficult paragraph?

    This paragraph is very difficult to understand. Any help from you would be greatly appreciated.

    "Personal space is mostly a public matter; we allow all kinds of invasions of personal space in private. The logistics of it vary according to geography. People who live in Calcutta have less personal space than folks in Colorado. "Don't tread on me" could have been coined only by someone with a spread. I would wager that people in the Northen Hemisphere have roomier conceptions of personal space than those in the Southern."

    1. "mostly a public matter" means what?
    2. What does this sentence "The logistics of it vary according to geography" mean? Logistics?
    3. "someone with a spread" means what?
    4. "roomier conceptions of personal space " means what?

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    Re: Could anybody help with this difficult paragraph?

    Consider what 'personal space' means. It is the distance that you would normally expect other people to keep from you. When you are talking to someone you move over to them rather than talk 5 yards apart. However if someone comes too close, say a few inch's, it becomes threatening. You will see young men push their faces together in such displays of aggression. There is even the expression "in you face" to describe this.

    It caused a lot of misunderstandings when Americans and Japanese first started doing business. The Japanese would stand too close to the American, the American would step back, then the Japanese forward to close the gap. They each had different ideas of what is appropriate.

    This brings us to your questions.

    1) The appropriate distance is set by society and is thus a public matter. We will however let our family be as close as they wish.

    2) I wouldn't have used 'logistics', but he means whatever is normal

    3) A spread is a slang term for a ranch or farm. People from low population density places tend to use larger personal spaces. This is not practical in high density places such as Hong Kong, so a smaller space is used.

    4) It means their idea of what is an appropriate distance is larger.

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