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conversation piece

Something unusual or interesting that becomes or is intended to become the topic of conversation when it is encountered by other people. Did you see Helen's new chair that's shaped like a giant red stiletto shoe? Yes, it's quite the conversation piece! Jane's new hairstyle became a conversation piece in the office because people couldn't believe she would cut her hair so short.
See also: conversation, piece

open a conversation

to start a conversation. (See also strike up a conversation.) I tried to open a conversation with him, but he had nothing to say. She opened a conversation with an inquiry into my health, which got me talking about my favorite subject.
See also: conversation, open

strike up a conversation

to start a conversation (with someone). I struck up an interesting conversation with someone on the bus yesterday. It's easy to strike up a conversation with someone when you're traveling.
See also: conversation, strike, up

conversation piece

An unusual object that arouses comment or interest, as in That bust of Aunt Nettie is ugly but it's an excellent conversation piece. In the early 1700s this same term was used for a particular kind of painting that represented a group, often a family, arranged as though they were conversing with one another. Later in the century the term was extended to any object that stimulates conversation.
See also: conversation, piece

make conversation

Engage someone in talking purely for its own sake, make small talk, as in She had a real talent for making conversation with strangers. [c. 1920]
See also: conversation, make
References in periodicals archive ?
Conversational Marketing, as a permission based medium, is more effective at driving marketing response than current direct marketing channels like email, web and social because it leverages individual directed interactions and enables progressively more personalization.
Conversational agents and natural language interaction; techniques and effective practices.
But, it is the conversational cooler that is perhaps the most easily recognized.
A drop in WRS of more than 20% at higher presentation levels (rollover test) or with competing conversational background noise is suggestive of retrocochlear dysfunction.
TuVox hosted speech applications enable companies to readily replace their outdated touch-tone systems that frustrate so many consumers, with conversational speech applications that provide a substantially better caller experience.
the leading innovator of conversational voice search and control technologies, announced that its voice-enabled reference design was demonstrated today at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco with Intel Corporation's next-generation concept platform for the digital home.
a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced the introduction of the comScore Conversational Media Report, a new service that provides enhanced worldwide measurement of the audiences for blogging sites in the burgeoning conversational media space, which includes mainstream and niche blogs and social networking sites.
Webinar to Provide Digital Marketers with the Essential Building Blocks for Leveraging Conversational Marketing Technology to Improve Customer Engagement
the pioneer of conversational voice search technologies, are working together to improve the reliability and user experience in next-generation telematics, consumer electronics, and digital home applications.
M&M'S Ranked #1 for Conversational ROI[TM] with their Super Bowl Advertisements--
today announced a multi-year deal to provide conversational voice search and retrieval features on Johnson Controls' BlueConnect(R) wireless mobile device gateway to the automotive market.
Neolane Invites Attendees to Learn How its Conversational Marketing Technology and Event-Triggered Capabilities Can Redefine Customer Relationships
com , aimed at providing the latest information on the Company's new strategic direction, including its current efforts in the areas of conversational interfaces and intelligent controls.
Pioneering Conversational Technology, AdLib, Helps Advertisers and Publishers Successfully Engage Consumers Who Search Outside the Box