It was one of the most extraordinary cabarets of affection since Richard Gere took out a full page newspaper advertisement claiming his marriage to Cindy Crawford was rock solid. At last month's Golden Globes, George Clooney and his new paramour, Italian presenter Elisabetta Canalis, were entwined like love-smitten teenagers. But whereas Gere's proclamation was followed rather swiftly by a divorce announcement, Clooney and Canalis are set to stay the course. That's if you believe their body language.
This "silent" language never lies, according to James Borg, a leading expert in the subject and author of a best-selling "how to" book.
"They're genuinely in love," he says. "The way they are smiling, the look in the eyes, and the nature of their proximity all give them away." Borg makes it his business to read the unconscious movements and postures of others. In his world, the curve of a smile, the blink of an eye, the position of the hands or feet are all of great significance.
"We're all constantly judged on first impressions," says Borg. "People are making snap decisions as to whether they trust us, like us, want to work with us, or have an affair with us. But words alone don't provide the whole picture. More than 90 per cent of meaning in any interaction is derived from non-verbal clues – the manner in which our body 'talks' and the way that we say things – and a mere seven per cent from the words that are actually spoken. The overwhelming meaning of a message, when communicating with others, comes from an unconscious display of the 'silent' language; which either reinforces or detracts from the words being used," he says.