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The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us

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Hardback – 02 Feb 2012

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A surprising and entertaining explanation of how the words we use (even the ones we don't notice) reveal our personalities, emotions, and identities.We spend our lives communicating. In the last fifty years, we've zoomed through radically different forms of communication, from typewriters to tablet computers, text messages to tweets. We generate more and more words with each passing day. Hiding in that deluge of language are amazing insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel.In The Secret Life of Pronouns, social psychologist and language expert James W. Pennebaker uses his groundbreaking research in computational linguistics-in essence, counting the frequency of words we use-to show that our language carries secrets about our feelings, our self-concept, and our social intelligence. Our most forgettable words, such as pronouns and prepositions, can be the most revealing: their patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints. Using innovative analytic techniques, Pennebaker X-rays everything from Craigslist advertisements to the Federalist Papers-or your own writing, in quizzes you can take yourself-to yield unexpected insights. Who would have predicted that the high school student who uses too many verbs in her college admissions essay is likely to make lower grades in college? Or that a world leader's use of pronouns could reliably presage whether he led his country into war? You'll learn why it's bad when politicians use "we" instead of "I," what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge's syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion. Barack Obama, Sylvia Plath, and King Lear are among the figures who make cameo appearances in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.
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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9781608194803
ISBN-10: 1608194809
Pagini: 368
Dimensiuni: 156 x 235 x 32 mm
Greutate: 0.56 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Press
Locul publicării: New York, United States

Caracteristici

INSIGHTS ABOUND: Some of Pennebaker's findings-how use of language can predict marital bliss, how the way we describe trauma reveals our innermost emotions-can help readers think about how they communicate.

Notă biografică

James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Chair of Psychology and the Executive Director of Project 2021, a program to change the way the University of Texas thinks about and delivers undergraduate education. He and his students are exploring the links between emotional experiences, natural language, and physical and mental health. His most recent research focuses on how everyday language reflects basic social and personality processes. Author or editor of 9 books and over 250 articles, Pennebaker has received numerous awards and honors.

Recenzii

Penetrating ... lively and accessible ... Paying closer attention to function words [Pennebaker] advises, can help us understand the social relations that those words reflect. Unfortunately, we might not be able to pay proper attention until we're all equipped with automatic word counters. Until that day, we have Pennebaker as an indefatigable guide to the little words that he boldly calls 'keys to the soul.'
Anyone who reads his book will become much more conscious about how he or she uses words when talking to friends, when talking to the public, or when writing for the public ... Pennebaker's new book is fascinating and fun
Provocative ... eye-opening ... The Secret Life of Pronouns is studded with muse-worthy examples of language's hidden power

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