The nod of acknowledgement is a standard among guys as a way to let the person know that you see them, without having to resort to using words. Girls will generally not accept the nod of acknowledgement and opt for a wave of the hand and/or a smile, perhaps even accompanied by words. The nod of acknowledgement is a wordless conversation.
The only acceptable response to a nod of acknowledgement is another nod. If you speak, you have broken the point of such a gesture.
Situations in which the nod of acknowledgement may be used:
(1) Walking past a friend to class
(2) Catching a friend's eye across the room to say "hi" without verbally saying it
(3) Giving approval of a friend's actions
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