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    The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us (Hardback) By (author) James W. Pennebaker

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    DescriptionWe spend our lives communicating. In the last fifty years, we've zoomed through radically different forms of communication, from typewriters to tablet computers, text messages to tweets. We generate more and more words with each passing day. Hiding in that deluge of language are amazing insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel.In "The Secret Life of Pronouns," social psychologist and language expert James W. Pennebaker uses his groundbreaking research in computational linguistics-in essence, counting the frequency of words we use-to show that our language carries secrets about our feelings, our self-concept, and our social intelligence. Our most forgettable words, such as pronouns and prepositions, can be the most revealing: their patterns are as distinctive as fingerprints. Using innovative analytic techniques, Pennebaker X-rays everything from Craigslist advertisements to the Federalist Papers-or your own writing, in quizzes you can take yourself-to yield unexpected insights. Who would have predicted that the high school student who uses too many verbs in her college admissions essay is likely to make lower grades in college? Or that a world leader's use of pronouns could reliably presage whether he led his country into war? You'll learn why it's bad when politicians use "we" instead of "I," what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge's syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion. Barack Obama, Sylvia Plath, and King Lear are among the figures who make cameo appearances in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.


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  • Full bibliographic data for The Secret Life of Pronouns

    Title
    The Secret Life of Pronouns
    Subtitle
    What Our Words Say About Us
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) James W. Pennebaker
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 368
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 235 mm
    Thickness: 31 mm
    Weight: 5,529 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9781608194803
    ISBN 10: 1608194809
    Classifications

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: LAN
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T8.6
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    Ingram Subject Code: LA
    Libri: I-LA
    BISAC V2.8: LAN006000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T General Subject: 670
    BISAC V2.8: PSY031000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAN004000
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15610
    B&T Approval Code: A11330000, A34010200
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAN009050
    BIC subject category V2: CBX
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 425/.55, 425.55
    LC classification: PE1261 .P46 2011
    DC23: 425.55
    Thema V1.0: CBX
    Illustrations note
    B&W illus throughout
    Publisher
    Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
    Imprint name
    Bloomsbury Press
    Publication date
    02 February 2012
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    James W. Pennebaker is the chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of "Writing to Heal and Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions," which has been translated into a dozen languages. You can analyze your own language using his Web site, http: //www.secretlifeofpronouns.com/
    Review quote
    American American-Statesman #1 Bestseller"Penetrating ...lively and accessible ...Paying closer attention to function words [Pennebaker] advises, can help us understand the social relations that those words reflect. Unfortunately, we might not be able to pay proper attention until we're all equipped with automatic word counters. Until that day, we have Pennebaker as an indefatigable guide to the little words that he boldly calls 'keys to the soul.'"--"New York Times Book Review""Anyone who reads his book will become much more conscious about how he or she uses words when talking to friends, when talking to the public, or when writing for the public ... Pennebaker's new book is fascinating and fun."--"Austin American-Statesman""Provocative ... eye-opening ... "The Secret Life of Pronouns" is studded with muse-worthy examples of language's hidden power."--"Dallas Morning News""Ingenious"--"Slate""Interesting and provocative ... A good nonfiction book often feels like a new lens prescription: You marvel at suddenly being able to see what was always there. On this count "The Secret Life of Pronouns" succeeds. You find yourself paying a greater degree of attention to even the least-regarded words of daily interaction ... It is an apt reminder that we express ourselves in more ways than we know."--"Wall Street Journal""[An] intriguing treatise...accessible, entertaining...Pennebaker's take on the unexpected importance of throw-away words isthe kind of fun pop linguistics readers devour."-- "Publishers Weekly""An extraordinary look at ordinary words."--"Booklist ""The author successfully demonstrates that seemingly innocuous function words--I, me, you, he, can, for, it, of, this--play a crucial role in understanding identity, detecting emotions and realizing intention; they also provide important clues about social and cultural cohesion ... Convincing and compelling...Essential reading for psychotherapists and readers interested in the connection