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Talk: The Science of Conversation

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  15 reviews
We spend much of our days talking. Yet we know little about the conversational engine that drives our everyday lives. We are pushed and pulled around by language far more than we realize, yet are seduced by stereotypes and myths about communication.

This book will change the way you think about talk. It will explain the big pay-offs to understanding conversation scientifica
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 29th 2018 by Robinson
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  74 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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Moh. Nasiri
Talk: CARM (Conversational Analytic Role-Play)
We converse spontaneously, but that doesn’t mean our conversations are random. Actually, most conversations are made up of key building blocks and follow predictable patterns. Understanding conversational elements and how they fit together is the best method for analyzing and improving how we talk, and for avoiding conversational pitfalls that create friction and misunderstandings. 


(blinkist)
Rehmat
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have observed most of the community reviewers have marked this book as three stars but mine one is four because the book explores at best the art of conversation. This book totally different from other books written on art of communication as the former is devoted mainly on informal daily conversations made spontaneously and randomly while the latter are dedicated to formal communication like running and attending meetings or persuasions or negotiations etc.

No doubt, most conversations are ma
...more
Riccardo
The book is a well written and entertaining introduction to many phenomena investigated in the analysis of the way we talk. I'm happy to have read it, but I have a couple of deep dissatisfactions (as somebody who also studies the way we talk).

1. The epistemic perspective
The book walks a difficult line between the emic perspective of Conversation Analysis (what matters is how speakers display reaction to X) and a more evidence based perspective (this is a recurrent pattern in the data) without re
...more
Melissa Wilson
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read the blinkiest version of this. Found it interesting.
Nat
Mar 26, 2020 added it
I am co-editing a volume of papers on "Applied Philosophy of Language", and it would have been interesting to have included some of the kind of applied conversational analysis discussed here, but I confess I wasn't familiar with the Harvey Sacks-style approach to conversation until meeting Mark Dingemanse at the Stanford Humanities Center in 2017. There's a lot for philosophers of language to chew on here, starting with the value of just looking at lots of examples of speech occurring in natural ...more
Vanessa Princessa
I read this book thanks to Blinkist.

Very fascinating stuff!
Synthia Salomon
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
“We converse spontaneously, but that doesn’t mean our conversations are random. Actually, most conversations are made up of key building blocks and follow predictable patterns. Understanding conversational elements and how they fit together is the best method for analyzing and improving how we talk, and for avoiding conversational pitfalls that create friction and misunderstandings. 
Actionable advice:
Use your words!
Trying to improve communication strategies at work? Don’t reach for a tired role-
...more
Amelia
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quarantine-reads
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Its layout and personable tone made for an easy read and had me engrossed for chapters on end. Liz ran a criminology module that I studied at Loughborough university in my final year (2017) and it became the reason I studied an MSc Psychology conversion. I’ve always been a self-confessed logophile and fascinated by anything that explores and makes sense of language. This book, for me, encapsulates both the wonders of language and psychological insight and truly di ...more
Dan
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-it
I read this book because I listened to the Blink on Blinkist. I thought the topic sounded really interesting.

The book was an interesting read, but it could have been better. The author spends A LOT of time justifying the existence of conversation analysis. Drop all the justification and maybe take up less physical space with the examples and there would be room for more interesting topics.

I found chapters 5 and 6 to be the most interesting. The topics in those chapters were things that I can see
...more
Jane Barton
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
I completed a dissertation for my MSc using the methods of discursive psychology some years ago so I was familiar with conversation analysis and the idea of talk as action through which we can achieve certain objectives. The book reminded me of some key findings in the field and introduced me to some others. I found much of the material interesting but was confused by the structure. To me it felt a bit haphazard. Would have preferred a clearer and more logical ordering of the contents.
Marcus Whybrow
Apr 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Useless. Postmodernist.

“Words are important.” Yes. I know. I agree.

Can we talk about that now? Some depth? No, just reams of shallow taxonomy. And postmodern preoccupations throughout!

If you’re already curious about speech, you’ll be mostly bored with this 300 page admonishment. I learned some things, mostly accidentally, mostly derived from my own thoughts.
Rich
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
As an aspiring conversational designer for chatbots, this book opened up a whole new way of analysing conversation flow design. From language use to listening and breaking down myths, very worth while read.
Rachid Rd
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirt
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
I read the blinkist abridgement.
Jennifer
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this very readable with lots of conversation examples that help to dispel some of the myths of conversation (e.g. that women talk more than men). It really makes the reader think about some of the ways that we ask questions and how we might rephrase them to get better quality responses.
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