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The secret life of pronouns: what our words say about us

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We 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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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 2907c307-33ad-6581-aecf-c8cf8cfeaa02
Grouping Title secret life of pronouns what our words say about us
Grouping Author pennebaker james w
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-15 22:47:54PM
Last Indexed 2019-01-16 00:13:05AM

Solr Details

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author James W. Pennebaker
author_display Pennebaker, James W
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collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Goodlettsville - Adult Non-Fiction, Main Library - Adult Non-Fiction, Southeast - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description Draws on groundbreaking research in computational linguistics to explain what language choices reveal about feelings, self-concept, and social intelligence, in a lighthearted treatise that also explores the language personalities of famous individuals.
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Goodlettsville, Main Kids, Main Library, Southeast
primary_isbn 9781608194803
publishDate 2011, 2013
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subject_facet English language -- Grammar, English language -- Pronoun
title_display The secret life of pronouns : what our words say about us
title_full The Secret Life of Pronouns What Our Words Say About Us, The secret life of pronouns : what our words say about us / James W. Pennebaker
title_short The secret life of pronouns :
title_sub what our words say about us
topic_facet English language, Grammar, Language Arts, Nonfiction, Pronoun, Psychology