A person's conversational style includes far more than the words that he or she speaks. Each conversation is composed of contextual cues, unspoken messages, body language, and the rhythms of speech. For the most part, people communicate without a conscious focus on the subtleties of language. Through this course, the complexities of language, and all that language entails, will become more apparent.
This is not a book about science, rather it's a book about perceptions. Where this book is presented as Scholarly lecture series it implies that it should be treated as having a basis in factual reality, but this is not what you are receiving. While the work begins with descriptive terms and possible scientific approaches to Sociolinguistics, the lectures work much better as self-help.
The author goes through a variety of elements of conversation which may allow the listener to improve their personal relationships with those around them through adjustments in the speech or by recognizing those issues of others.Those seeking scientific scholarship will be disappointed, those seeking an introduction to Social Linguistics in a non-scientific vocabulary will really enjoy.
The Modern Scholar: He Said/She Said: Women, Men and Language, also by Deborah Tannen, is VERY similar to this series. I would not recommend purchasing both.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
If you have read any of Deborah Tannen's popular titles, you will probably enjoy this. It is billed as a series of lectures (boring!) but you could just as easily reframe it as different chapters in an audio book.
Concepts are explained simply and clearly. It is quite accessable to the lay person, because there isn't an assumed level of knowledge.
Having read some previous titles by the same author, several vignettes were familiar, but it was quite amusing/entertaining to hear them read aloud. (eg the story about the pediatrician talking to the little girl.)
There is also an accompanying booklet to download. If you are considering downloading this title, the accompanying booklet gives a rough idea of what you can expect. It is very helpful if you want to follow up any of the authors cited.
Would highly recommend for people with a general interest in communication, or linguistics.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
This is pseudo-scholarship at its worst. I was very disappointed to learn the lectures were by the woman who wrote the awful book, "you just don't understand" but thought I would give give it a short since I'd paid for it. It was just as bad as her book. This woman shamelessly perverts science. She creates untestable hypotheses which would make Freud blush. She even begins with an idle boast that she "saved a marriage" of a student through her course. She then proceeds to insult our intelligence with conversation analysis that a ten year-old could constuct if they were forced to waste their time that way. I am shocked this woman is alongside excellent scholars on the other lectures in this series.
27 of 53 people found this review helpful
I loved this course. Excellent, both in content and in narration. Professor Debora Tannen presents sociolinguistics' findings on cultural and gender differences between conversational styles in engaging andceffective way, but also without dumbing down the topic.
Although I am a fan of Deborah Tannen's books, and I have enjoyed attending lectures she has given, I was disappointed in this series. There was a lot of repetition, to the point where I kept thinking I was listening to a record that was skipping and stuck on the same sentence. I'm not talking about expounding on a topic or rephrasing it, but rather an almost verbatim account of the same sentences. Based on this, even though I am interested in the subjects she writes/talks about, I would hesitate to get another one of her audio lectures.
What disappointed you about The Modern Scholar?
The selection was not informative. It amounted mostly to discussing the scholarly names for mannerisms and tendencies that everyone already recognizes in their day to day communications.
Has The Modern Scholar turned you off from other books in this genre?
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
I've read several Modern Scholar selections and enjoyed most of them, but not this one. The professor had very little practical information to offer. Most of it was examples of miscommunication to which the narrator supplied the linguistic terms. This selection might be of use if you are Sheldon Cooper or Mr. Data from Star Trek. Anyone who has good communication skills will find almost nothing valuable here. Worst of all, the professor tries to tell us that those who simply wait for their turn to talk instead of trying to listen actively, ask questions and be engaged in what we are saying are not really rude, they just have a different conversational style. Ya, I'll say. Don't waste a credit on this one.
4 of 8 people found this review helpful