Being a student at the university where Deborah Tannen is a professor as has become world famous for her theories on discourse analysis and conversational style, I was glad to see that two of her books were on the reading list for the course entitled "Cross-Cultural Communications", a course which Dr. Tannen has taught in the past.
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I reread this book last week, just to remember why I liked it so much. First of all, it is very easy to read. Even though you may not realize it, you are taught a lot reading this book by simply examining different types of conversations. Dr. Tannen has a marvelous way of weaving conversations and spinning words like thread to build theories and interweave theories of other great linguists to help everyday people like you and me understand what went wrong in that dinner conversation last night.
What Dr. Tannen stresses is that while we may be speaking the same language, we all don't have the same way of reacting to other people's words. Using the techniques I learned in this book, I can sit and listen to a conversation that becomes a fight, for example, and realize exactly why the discussion did not proceed in the way each party thought it would. After reading this, I'm sure you too will be examining the way you speak and the words you use to convey meaning.
This book is an enjoyable read, and one that I recommend to every person out there. Not only is it easy, but it is very educational, and will make you a better speaker!