One of my favourite words. I love the way it describes so exactly that level of sound which is just ignorable (probably not a word) for a precise length of time before it bores into your skull and drives you mad.
This at least is how I apply it.
It's a great word for adventures, setting up an impending uneasiness as a strange not-quite-identifiable sound builds around a party.
It's also grounds for homicide.
I had a rehearsal today with a full cast. Practically unheard of. Most excellent. We got to run two long and complex scenes from Faustus with all the relevant bodies for once. Except that our rehearsal space is not large. Pack it with a cast of 22 plus an additional 5 crew and a couple of bods just waiting for their own session and you have susurration in spades.
The problem is that nobody really means to be making a lot of noise and individually, they're not. It seems unreasonable to keep asking for deadly silence so I can hear the cast. So I try to ignore it. I fail. I yell. I look at the sea of offended faces all thinking "Well, I don't know why she's screaming at me, I wasn't talking". I apologise.
10 minutes pass and the pattern repeats. For two hours.
Someone grant me tin ears.
Irritatingly, as I finish typing this, I realise I've wasted a perfectly good post for the letter S.