[Ads-l] "Read the room"

Dennis During dcduring at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 19 21:13:38 UTC 2021

Wiktionary has: "to understand the emotions and thoughts of the people
present" with 'read the table' as a synonym.

Related is 'work the room'

If either were to appear in MSDs, I'd expect them as run-ins at the entry
for 'room'.

On Wed, May 19, 2021 at 5:03 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> To quote gloss and two sample sentences provided by The Free Dictionary::
> 'To use one's intuition to analyze the general mood of the people in a
> particular setting and act accordingly. Often used as an imperative.'
> I'll read the room and see if it's the right time to have the
> conversation. If people already seem on edge, I'll probably wait to bring
> it up.
> Read the room, James. No one here is interested in talking politics right
> now.
> I was wondering when this originated and when it caught on again to show
> up in commercials.  Does anyone know?  I’m assuming that since it’s not
> really a word (even by our extended WOTY-style definition), it won’t show
> up in back issues of Among the New Words, but someone here might have
> tracked it.  If I had to guess, the guess would involve usage by stand-up
> comedians.
> LH
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dennis C. During

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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