Polite Honk

Polite Honk

Around this time of year, many of us are hitting the highways whether to visit friends and family or to the shopping malls to buy Christmas gifts. Undoubtedly, there will be traffic incidents along the way and the car horn will be used.

There are two very different honks that can be used. There is the angry honk and the polite honk. The angry honk is pretty easy to understand. When someone cuts you off and your ticked off and want to let the other driver know that you have been wronged and take exception to their actions. The polite honk, on the other hand, is more of a way of getting another driver’s attention. For example, the lady that is too busy looking at herself in the mirror at a stop light and doesn’t realize that the light has turned green gets the polite honk to direct her attention back to the current situation. Another example of when the polite honk should be used is when you want to get the attention of a friend that is walking by or driving along side and you want to wave hello.

The differences in uses of the two honks are very obvious but the execution is very different. The angry honk is usually long and loud to express that feeling of displeasure. The polite honk is just the opposite. It should be a short tap of the horn and just enough to get someone’s attention. My preferred method is a double tap. I liken it to a double click of a mouse. Two short burst that keep the volume at a bare minimum.

There is a dilemma with this scenario. Some car horns are not capable of a polite honk. There is no building up of the volume of the horn. It’s either on or off. My new car has one of these types of horns. With my old car, a quick tap of the horn produced a mild beep while longer, sustained pressure created a much louder sound. So please, do not be upset if a guy in a little white coupe gives you a double tap honk that comes off as being angry. It’s probably me just trying to get your attention.

1 Comment on Polite Honk

  • Sherine Elmasry says:
    December 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Had no idea there was a science to honking. Very impressive, Mr. Mike.


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© 2016 - Mike Elmasry

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