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But What Do You Mean?

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Adrian Perse

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of But What Do You Mean?

Deborah Tannen Known for her studies in communications CRITICISM "But What Do You Mean?" Praise Fighting Born and raised in New York The question "Why do men and women so often communicate badly, if at all?" has motivated Tannen into researching and writing. They say conversation is a ritual.
So what is a Ritual?
An action repeated on a schedule/compulsion.
That means we do it so much its like second nature, we do it without even realizing it. The problem is men and women have different perspectives. Women take other peoples feelings in account during a conversation. Men like to seem more dominate during conversations or the one-up position. Apologies Women apologies way more then men do. Women use a lot of ritual apologies A lot of times when people say "I'm Sorry" isn't self-deprecating (conscious of your own wrong doing) Women feel like they take the blame a lot. Women utter frequent apologies while a man does not, therefore the women then end up thinking as if she's taking the blame for something. Women criticize differently then men. Women tend to use softeners. Softeners tends to make their points less harsh/hurtful for example. A women journalist asked another women journalist about her work and this is what she said: “There’s one more thing. I know you may not agree with me. The reason I noticed the problem is that your other points are so lucid and elegant.” Men don't sugarcoat what they really mean. The same women called a guy editor and asked him about her essay and he response with “Call me when you have something new to say.”
A lot different from what the lady said. People who give a straight to the point answer don't consider other peoples feelings when it comes to work, his quote: "Here's the dope. I know you're good; you can take it." "But What Do You Mean"October 1994 Was published in "Redbook" magazine Thank-You "Thank-You" is another ritual word women use often. We have monthly meetings at my job, every time we gather for the meeting my manager is always thanking everyone for showing up, even though its our job to do so. "Women use "thanks" as an conversation starter and closer." Men never wanna feel inferior. They often express their ideas through verbal speech. Thinking that if they are more aggressive people wont question there ideals. If people don't agree with someones ideas they try and find weak points in there arguments. So they could feel superior. If people aren't used to ritual fighting and they get into an argument with someone else instead of fighting back they usually start to doubt themselves. Men and women have different views when it comes to praise. Women jump to the conclusion that if they don't receive praise there doing something wrong. Two girls weren't receiving praise from there manager so they were going to quit there job. The girls were following the saying "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything." But the guy really did a appreciate there work he just didn't say anything about it he left them alone. Complaints "Trouble talk" its a way to start a conversation between to people. One person complains and then someone else answers with a similar problem. It's in a mans nature to solve problems. So when a women would complain about small situations at work the guy a guys natural response is to give her advice on how she could resolve her problems. This made the girl feel condescended and frustrated. When she was really just venting her problems. Jokes “When I’m with men, my wit or cleverness seems inappropriate (or lost!) so I don’t bother. When I’m with my women friends, however, there’s no hold on puns or cracks and my humor is fully appreciated.” Research showed that men prefer more razzing, teasing jokes. On the other hand women often mistake men’s teasing as genuinely hostile. (unfriendly) Tannen main purpose to writing this was to talks about a lot of big areas of miscommunication. She gives examples about the main areas of miscommunications such as apologies, criticism, thank-yous, fighting, praise, complaints, and jokes. And then gives more in dept examples of each. Intended audience is men and women. Thesies "Many of the conversational rituals common among women are designed to take the other person’s feelings into account, while many of the conversational rituals common among men are designed to maintain the one-up position, or at least to avoid appearing one-down." Her tone is Informal Writing Strategies:
She uses a lot of anecdotes to help the reader relate to the essay.
Analogy: “…all styles will at times fail with others who don’t share or understand them, just as English won’t do you much good if you try to speak to someone who knows only French.” she helps relate the whole essay about how people have such a hard time communicating. As if their speaking a different language between men and women. This essay is very much relevant we still have this problem with communication to this day. Title: It relates to a problem that every person regardless of age, race or sex, and the different choices we will have to face in our lifetime. The problem is that men and women communicate differently and these differences can often lead to conflict. Writing Process: Tannen uses first person.
Uses imagery in her ideas so they would be better understood.
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