Beth Cato's Reviews > You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation

You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen
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's review
Apr 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: in, 2008, nonfiction
Read in June, 2008

Do you have any interactions with people of the opposite sex? Read this book.[return][return]Do you ever wonder why even your own gender acts in such a particular why? Read this book.[return][return]Seriously, I thought this book would be a very dull, dry, read. Gender and linguistics aren't the most exciting of subjects, usually - but in Tannen's expert hands this becomes a fascinating and balanced read. It's not anti-woman or anti-man, but tries to study the reasons - cultural or otherwise - why we communicate the way we do. It gets to the very root of gender differences. Most women seek commonalities with other women (one complains of an ailment, the other sympathizes with a similar tale of woe) while men tend to one-up the other in a hierarchcal scramble for dominance (a guy has an ailment, so the other guy ignores it, dismisses it, or elevates his own standing). The book cites studies of children and shows how they show many of the same communicative patterns of adults. The author also refers to a variety of literature and personal anecdotes to illustrate situations.[return][return]My husband even picked up this book and flipped through and said he was impressed by it. My husband rarely reads books.[return][return]As a writer, I think this book will be an excellent source for honing dialog and creating conflict. This is a keeper.
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