Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

A Language of BEEPS

One of the biggest things I have had to adjust to is the traffic, and the noise that comes with it, especially the horns honking. Each day as I walk to school there are horns blaring, tooting, and bleeping… at first it was all terribly overwhelming, I could not identify any real purpose to it, after all, what difference does it make if you make a lot of noise while you are stuck in traffic? You will still be stuck even if you honk your horn…but slowly I have begun to distinguish between the sounds, and I have noticed that there are patterns to how people honk their horns, and you can sometimes tell what they are trying to say by the noise their car makes:

  • The long drawn out HO-O-O-O-O-O-NK= frustration, usually in the term of “SOMEBODY MOVE!!!! Or “HEY I’M DRIVING HERE!!!” or “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
  • An abrupt double HO-ONK-HO-ONK= ” STOP THAT (you idiot)”
  • But a quick double-tap Beep-beep= “Hey there” when you see someone you know walking beside the road, or  it can be another form of a catcall, or it can mean “Excuse Me” if you are trying to politely get into the flow of traffic
  • A short, quick Beep= “Hey pay attention” usually when issued when the person in front of you waits to long to go after the light changes, or something like that
  • A series of rapid fire beeps (beep-beep-beep-beep) usually means “Oh my gosh, I am here, please don’t hit me” or “I’m coming through move out of my way” depending on the situation or the driver. 

I am sure there are more meanings depending on the situation, and other people might have their own interpretations, but this is what it sounds like to me. I am sure I will have many more chances to study.