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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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Ethan Murphy
Ethan Murphy

The Secret Life Of Pronouns: What Our Words Say...



A surprising and entertaining explanation of how the words we use (even the ones we don't notice) reveal our personalities, emotions, and identities.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 John McCain's tweets to the Federalist Papers. 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 will lead his country into war? You'll learn what Lady Gaga and William Butler Yeats have in common, and how Ebenezer Scrooge's syntax hints at his self-deception and repressed emotion in this sprightly, surprising tour of what our words are saying-whether we mean them to or not.




The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say...



Function words are both short and hard to perceive. One reason we have trouble spotting their high rate of usage is that our brains naturally slide over them. We automatically focus on content words as they provide the basic who, what and where of a conversation.


James W. Pennebaker is chair of the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. This article is based on his new book, The Secret Life of Pronouns: What our words say about us (Bloomsbury Press). You can find out more and analyse your own words at secretlifeofpronouns.com


We spend our lives communicating. In the last 50 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 will lead 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.


James W. Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the years, he and his students have studied three general topics: the psychology of physical symptoms, the power of expressive writing in helping people cope with upheavals, and, most recently, how the words people use in everyday life reveal their personality and psychological states. 041b061a72


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    Angel Roberto Romero
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    Elijah Rogers
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    Frank Titskey
  • Ethan Murphy
    Ethan Murphy
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