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  1. #11
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Does he consider how a man would react to similar proposals using 'could' and 'would' and compare that to how a woman would react?
    And perhaps, to be fair, how a woman would react to a woman and a man to a man.
    No, unfortunately he does not do that. It is not a scientific work, far from that.
    Nor is the author concerned about linguistic questions.

    John Gray seems to be specialized in marital relationships. He really has a great experience in the field. Let us say it seems he breaths man&woman relationships. He has written many books in this field. However, he has received many criticisms from academics. Take a look at this entry of wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gray_(U.S._author)

    Particularly I didn't like his book "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus." He has a point, OK, but his point was already explained and clear by the half of the book. I don't believe any of his other books has any novelty.
    I just happened to read his book because I need to read many different styles of written English. By the end of the book, which was becoming difficult to read because of boredom, he appeared with this interesting linguistic analyses which saved the book. But all his linguistic analyses takes only about four pages of the book.

  2. #12
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Deborah Tannen is a linguist who has written more convincingly on speech styles of men and women, in a popular style but with more credibility, in my opinion.

    Deborah Tannen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  3. #13
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Deborah Tannen is a linguist who has written more convincingly on speech styles of men and women, in a popular style but with more credibility, in my opinion.

    Deborah Tannen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I had already heard about her. I will put her in my personal list for possible future study. What about Steven Pinker, do you know whether he has written/said something about this subject?

  4. #14
    Linguist__ is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I had already heard about her. I will put her in my personal list for possible future study. What about Steven Pinker, do you know whether he has written/said something about this subject?
    I only have Pinker's 'The stuff of thought'. I haven't read it fully but its very accessible and informative in a 'fun' way. There is a whole chapter about indirect speech and implicature, not necessarily revolving around gender differences.

    My sociolinguistics class on gender differences focussed on things like swearing, and also the fact that there is a much larger list of words used to describe a promiscuous woman than there is to describe a promiscuous man, and the women's words are far more negative in connotation.

    I think Deborah Tannen's main point of view is that gender differences in language don't lie in the vocabulary and syntax, but in the implicature. I should buy her book.

  5. #15
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    I only have Pinker's 'The stuff of thought'. I haven't read it fully but its very accessible and informative in a 'fun' way. There is a whole chapter about indirect speech and implicature, not necessarily revolving around gender differences.
    Sounds like a good book, other member of UsingEnglish have mentioned it. I have already ordered it and hope to
    read soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    My sociolinguistics class on gender differences focussed on things like swearing, and also the fact that there is a much larger list of words used to describe a promiscuous woman than there is to describe a promiscuous man, and the women's words are far more negative in connotation.
    Thatīs interesting. I guess this must be a general fact, I mean also in other languages other than English.

  6. #16
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by Linguist__ View Post
    I only have Pinker's 'The stuff of thought'. I haven't read it fully but its very accessible and informative in a 'fun' way. There is a whole chapter about indirect speech and implicature, not necessarily revolving around gender differences.
    I am reading it now. It is indeed a professional book in the field of linguistics. I am learning a lot from it.
    Although up to now there is no big deal about gender language usage differences the book goes deep in the relations between language and thought.

    Which chapter you said is related to indirect speech and implicature?

    By the way I didn't know the meaning of the word you used "implicature", when I searched it I saw it is exactly the topic we are talking about:

    implicature:
    The aspect of meaning that a speaker conveys, implies, or suggests without directly expressing. Although the utterance "Can you pass the salt?" is literally a request for information about one's ability to pass salt, the understood implicature is a request for salt.
    From implicature: Definition from Answers.com

    But I couldn't find it in the Merriam dictionary.

  7. #17
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Persistent use of "can" and "could" may irrate men - short digression on modal ve

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post

    Which chapter you said is related to indirect speech and implicature?


    Oh, it is on chapter 8 "Games People Play", just after "The Seven Words You Can't Say on Television."
    Yes, it really goes to the point.

    By the way, interesting enough, in this book Pinker mentions and comments both "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" by John Gray and an article by Deborah Tannen.

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