Deborah Tannen

Topics: Boy, Female, Girl Pages: 2 (661 words) Published: April 6, 2011

In reading Deborah Tannen’s essay “You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation,” I was found to believe that the main idea of this essay was the language of everyday conversation. The subject of Deborah Tannen’s essay would be in my opinion the difference in which males and females use communication skills. When it comes to men, they seem to talk more if they were sitting next to a female. Also a boys way of communicating with other boys, was not by talking, but by more of engaging in activities with them. As with females, they actually engaged in communicating. They mostly sit and talk, and tell secrets to one another. Tannen stated that she observed that, "For males, conversation is the way you negotiate your status in the group and keep people from pushing you around; you use talk to preserve your independence. Females, on the other hand, use conversation to negotiate closeness and intimacy; talk is the essence of intimacy, so being best friends means sitting and talking. For boys, activities, doing things together, are central. Just sitting and talking is not an essential part of friendship. They're friends with the boys they do things with." I completely agree with her statement. Males, in my opinion, speak more sternly to try and prove themselves to other males. While females speak more calm and subtle to try to create a bond with other females. Just as when it comes to boys and girls having to speak in front of large groups, girls tend to do it more easily, while boys are more comfortable at doing it. Walter Ong states that it’s more known for males to use speaking in a setting which is more in a challenge and argument situation. Also he gives an example by which a boy shows his like for a girl by pulling her hair and shoving her. While boys find that a fun way of doing things, girls usually do not. It’s also spoken about how women of other countries use the communication aspect as some sort of ritual lament. They...
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