response criesthose utterances, e.g. ‘Oops’, which are not obviously ‘talk’, in the sense of possessing a conscious communicative intent (GOFFMAN, 1981). Although apparently trivial and spontaneous in character, and often not deliberately aimed at communication, they nevertheless communicate a recognition by the SOCIAL ACTOR that he or she has transgressed the normal expectations of control over the body, that this lack of control was a mere accident, etc. As such, an analysis of response cries emphasizes the socially organized character of behaviour which at first sight may appear nonsocial.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000