Take a simple example like a cough. A cough can of course be merely a physiological response to needing to clear one’s throat, but it can also be a social method (an ‘ethno-method’) for, say, signalling disagreement, displaying scepticism about an account, interrupting someone, or signalling that someone is blocking your path. The answer to the question of precisely which of these various ‘senses’ of the cough applies on any given occasion is generated by the stock of social knowledge (Schütz, 1967: 80) that competent members of a social group use to ‘recognise’ its meaning in that context. For example, members may have knowledge that, in particular situations, coughs that are particularly elongated, particularly short, particularly over-dramatised, or accompanied by a ‘roll of the eyes’ signal that that cough is not just ‘clearing the throat’ but has a different social meaning.