... Gossip is an evil thing, much unhappiness it brings. If you can't say something nice, don't talk at all is my advice ... (Not sure who the original author is)
I learned the words of this chorus back in Junior high and I still remember it to this day. It really changed my outlook on a lot of so called "discussions". One of my friend's status on facebook the other day was "if you stay long enough to hear negative and malicious things about someone, what makes you think the same won't be going on behind you?
I don't want to focus on the malicious aspect of gossip alone. I realize that by making the previous statement it implies that some aspect of gossip is good. Is that true at all? Does it mean then that if what is being said is "nice", then it is alright? Hmmm, just wondering.