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That's Not What I Meant!

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In this classic work - her first - Tannen brilliantly tackles crucial interactions, looking at conversations with colleagues, bosses, friends and family. Engaging, accessible and absolutely compelling, Tannen once again shows us what's really shaping - or breaking- our relationships with others.
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* Author tour to coincide with publication of THE ARGUMENT CULTURE

About the Author

Best-selling author Deborah Tannen is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She has also been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princetown University.


Tannen, whose field is cross-cultural linguistics, focuses on conversational style rather than psychological content, and explains why good intentions are not enough. We begin all conversations with some expectation of how they will progress. If our expectations differ, unexpected responses seem irrational, and we may accuse each other of being deliberately obstructive. She emphasizes that there are no right or wrong ways to converse, only ways which work or don't work. By recognizing differences in style, and learning to work with them rather than against them, we can avoid misunderstanding. Tannen's writing is lively, she states her case clearly, and provides a fresh look at a subject which concerns us all. Recommended for popular collections. Margaret B. Allen, formerly with Bennington Free Lib., Vt.

'Tannen combines a novelist's ear for the way people speak with a rare power of original analysis ... fascinating' OLIVER SACKS

Part pop psychology, part sociology and part anthropology, this book by a linguistics professor at Georgetown University focuses on the uncomfortable moments when a conversation inexplicably breaks down, and suggests how such awkwardness can be avoided. Noting that there exist a plethora of books on public speaking, Tannen instead considers ``private speaking,'' and particularly the ``metamessages'' we transmitwhat we say, our attitude toward those we speak with, and the specific occasioninvolving such elements as loudness, pitch and intonation. Using scenarios that illustrate communication gaps, Tannen also attempts to show readers how to save their marriages and triumph in job interviews. BOMC alternate. January 17

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