Friday, October 6, 2017

ELL vocabulary - stranger

"Stranger" is a noun that means a person you have not yet met--someone you have not been introduced to.  The OED definition is:
An unknown person; a person whom one has not seen before; also in wider sense, a person with whom one is not yet well acquainted. 

A stranger can also mean someone who comes from a foreign country or region, but today I'll concentrate on the first definition--someone whose name you don't know; someone whom you have not yet met.
A handshake.
In the United States one usually shakes hands when formally meeting someone for the first time.  One does this with everyone nowadays--bowing and kissing the hands of women have passed out of fashion.  Shake with your right hand.

The word stranger gives me the opportunity to introduce Richard Renaldi's "Touching Strangers" project.  As his website says, "Since 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs that involve approaching and asking complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait."

Here's one of my favorite images in "Touching Strangers":
One of Renaldi's "Touching Strangers" images.
Here's the image on the cover of the Touching Strangers book:

Touching Strangers by Richard Renaldi.
Another one of Renaldi's Touching Strangers images:

I love the idea of asking strangers to interact so intimately and then pose for the camera.  For me, a wonderful energy arises from these images.

How do you deal with strangers?  Do you observe the advice, "Don't talk to strangers"?  If you see a stranger who is begging, do you give money?  Have you ever helped a stranger cross the street, or held open a door for a stranger?  What do you think of the way we treat strangers in the United States?

The English Avocado

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