Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday Intro: The Secret Life of Pronouns

Preface
Stop for a minute and think about your last conversation, e-mail, or text message. You think you said something about dinner plans, your laundry, a strategy for the next sales meeting. And you probably did. But at the same time, you said much, much more. The precise words you used to communicate your message revealed more about you than you can imagine. 
You, a, am, to, I, but, the, for, not... 
Pronouns, articles, prepositions, and a handful of other small, stealthy word reveal parts of your personality, thinking style, emotional state, and connections with others. These words, typically called function words, account for less than one-tenth of 1 percent of your vocabulary but make up almost 60 percent of the words you use. Your brain is not wired to notice them but if you pay close attention, you will start to see their subtle power.
The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us
by James W. Pennebaker

This opening strikes me as fascinating and full of possibility. Does that makes me a word nerd? Either way, I stumbled upon this book at the library last week and couldn't resist bringing it home for a close look.

What do you think? Does it make you want to keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

22 comments:

  1. Tantalizing. It would be a great book to analyze writing!
    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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  2. I am intrigued by the premise...I'm going to see if my library has a copy.

    My post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2014/03/first-chapter-first-paragraph-53.html

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  3. I had never thought of pronouns as having power, but what an interesting concept! And so true. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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  4. These type of books I find very interesting. I just may see if our library has this one available.

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  5. "...their subtle power." I like that! And yes, it does make you one, but there's nothing wrong with that! :)

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  6. I thought the title/cover of this one seemed a bit boring, but I loved the intro! It seemed to make those mundane little words we all use fascinating! I would keep reading…

    Here's Mine: http://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/fiction/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday-intros-art-hearing-heartbeats-jan-philipp-sendker/

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  7. That is fascinating! Sarah's right, the cover is a bit boring but now I want to know more. :-)

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  8. Sounds like one I would keep reading. Of course, I am a bit of a "word nerd."

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  9. This sounds like it makes a potentially dry subject interesting. Here's Mine

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  10. oh, word nerd, I like that. I as a 'sometimes' translator, you have to be a word nerd, so this is right up my street. Thanks for sharing. And no, apart from when I'm translating, I don't give pronouns much thought.
    My post is here

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  11. This one caught my interest. I absolutely want to know more!
    Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. I'm definitely interested. I'm also checking my library. By the way, I thought the cover was clever.

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  13. Sounds interesting to me so maybe I'm a word nerd too :)

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  14. I love those kinds of books that dissect or personalities. (The Psychopath Next Door, made me a little uncomfortable --kidding. Great intro

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  15. Thanks for all the comments! It's nice to be surrounded by fellow word nerds ;-)

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  16. Definitely. This sounds like a very interesting book and a peek into the very spirit of speech! Thanks for putting me on to it!

    :)

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  17. Hmmm, I guess I consider myself a word nerd, but it seems as if the author is stating the obvious here. Maybe I'm not getting the big picture of what the book covers... :)

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  18. Just another word nerd, here. Looking forward to your sharing more.

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  19. I love words as well. The only thing I'd worry about is this book would make me overanalyze everything even more than I already do. Lol.

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  20. I'll wwait and see what you think if it :)

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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