Hissing at people is generally considered rude. But it’s easy and fun to do since there are so many words in the English language that contain the letter S. Just imagine if we were snakes: we’d be doing it all the time!
There are unfortunately some words which we can’t hiss. Mammary is one of them. So is lullaby, Rocky Balboa, who farted? and crack cocaine. Anyone on the end of a good hissing will ignore this and prefer to concentrate on those well-prolonged Ss in order to judge whether you are doing it right.
So long as you choose words with this syllable at all.
Ask any first year student of Mandarin and you will realise that there are some sounds which are quite difficult for our mouths to produce. Hissing an aspirated H is one of them.
But, blasting all that we know about phonetics out of the linguistics rule book, Bella pulls it off when she hisses the question “How?”. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, she did it “through her teeth”.
Careful, Bella: the snakes might get envioussssssssss.
Bella and Jacob find themselves clenching their teeth a lot in Eclipse. On one particular page they even do it together – not in the “let’s play in Grandma’s cabbage patch and dig a grave together”, rather their teeth come together while clenching.
According to most dental professionals, such exaggerated clenching is stress-related. Stress also leads to burn out, rickets and the Ebola virus. Admittedly, being caught in a torrid love triangle with a werewolf and a vampire, or discovering that you can grow a full, lush coat of fur before you even have pubic hair can be a stressful time in the life of a young person.
We just hope it doesn’t lead to case of chronic teeth grinding. Weary jaw muscles reduce the ability to communicate coherently and of course, no-one wants to be browsing the aisles of the denture shop before one reaches 29.
The challenge to those experiencing similar problems is simple: can you not clench your teeth together?
Experienced interrogators can detect if someone is lying from even the most subtle expressions of body language; in fact, many of our gestures reveal our true thoughts and intentions, despite our efforts to suppress them.
I was once caught out at a job interview because I coughed unprofessionally. Who would have thought that clearing my throat would have communicated idleness, unwillingness to co-operate and a tendency towards corporate theft. What’s worse, on the way home the taxi driver refused to let me in his car because I hailed him down miserly. How he knew I wouldn’t tip him is beyond me.
Bella does so much whispering and muttering it’s no surprise that many of her co-characters have to interpret what she wants to say. She might shrug in order to feign nonchalance, but only the keen instincts of friends and enemies understand her true motives. Shrugging guiltily will get you busted every time.