The hero in my latest reading material, winked and it got me thinking about this discreet type of communication. There are, of course, many forms this expression can take, from the less than subtle wink that accompanies a leer, to the barely discernable wink my mother used to show solidarity, on occasion. I have also used this discreet wink with my sons, when they were young, when I wanted them to not disagree with me in company or to show tacit agreement with them. A wink has the power to embrace the receiver with a warm, intimate glow or to repel with the speed of lightning.
In other countries than my own, the wink can have different meanings. In Asia, it is considered offensive and in Nigeria it is used as a signal for children to leave the room.
Not everyone can wink with ease and it is usual for one eye to be better at winking than the other. All in all, the wink is quite a powerful little aid to human interaction, even if it does look like a nervous tic.