The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us

The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us


By (author) James W. Pennebaker

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 204mm x 28mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 18 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1608194965
  • ISBN 13: 9781608194964
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: B&W
  • Sales rank: 40,535

Product description

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.

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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 at his website,

Review quote

"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 "[An] intriguing treatise...accessible, entertaining...Pennebaker's take on the unexpected importance of throw-away words ist