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Sometimes a speaker will expect a clap, but it never arrives...
i.e. I disagree with it
when they're trying to show how bloody cynical they are.
Like, if a politician says something about most politicians being pretty decent and the audience goes "HO HO HO - AS IF!!" and they all look at each other appreciatively.
when someone really builds up their point expecting a massive round of applause at the climax and about 4 people clap.