Analysis Of Deborah Tannen's 'But What Do You Mean'

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The effectiveness of writing can be most simply be determined by its ability to sufficiently display a message across the the reader. Every piece of literature contains a message, whether blatantly obvious or hidden under written complexities. These messages, however, have a much stronger appeal to the audience while encompassed in personal interjections and anecdotes. When the reader can connect to the author, their message is much more effective and personal to the reader as opposed to cold statements of ideas. Deborah Tannen in “But What Do You Mean?” most effectively displays the message to the audience that everyone must be consciously aware of the environment one speaks in as Tannen analyzes the gaps in communication between men and women. With a similar subject matter, William Lutz in “The World …show more content…
A personal approach, in coordination with appropriate injects of oneself in writing, opposed to informal distance, results in a more effective message and connection to the audience.
Deborah Tannen uses personal experiences and first person pronouns in “But What Do You Mean” to forge stronger connections resulting in an effective message to the reader. Tannen uses classification laced with informal narrative to display her ideologies as to why women and men communicate poorly and how gender differences can lead to misunderstandings. In the writing, Tannen classifies different types of communication, especially in the workplace such as apologies, criticism and Thank You’s, adding in personal anecdotes to give further evidence, exemplifying her overall ideas and purpose. In the first category of miscommunication, apologies, Tannen uses a personal story of a conversation she had as a columnist with another woman in the field, “I lost your direct number, can I get it again?...Oh, I’m sorry” (Tannen 354). Tannen, through personal experience, analyzes that women immediately

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