`` But What Do You Mean? By Deborah Tannen

Decent Essays

Within the essay, “But What Do You Mean?”, author Deborah Tannen explains several main areas of miscommunication between men and women. Within her article, she goes section-by-section comparing men and women’s preferred style of communication. She concludes that while men and women may communicate differently, neither are wrong. To address this concern, she suggests using language both parties can understand. On the other hand, in William Lutz article, “The World of Doublespeak,” he takes a different approach to language discrepancies. Lutz introduces the idea of doublespeak as inherently negative. He starts by proceeding to discuss types of doublespeak subcategory-by-subcategory. Within his subcategories, he gives various real-world examples from various aspects of communication. The conclusion Lutz resolves to claims that doublespeak impedes communication, and thus should be eliminated. Overall, despite both authors exploring aspects of language the tone, categorization, and conclusions are different.
To begin, Tannen’s article shows a primarily positive tone. She maintains a casual tone as she compares the dissimilarities between men and women’s communicative interactions. To further exemplify, Tannen first gives an example of either a male or a female encounter and then contrasts it with comparative words such as “but” or “while.” She uses language to divide but not exalt one language preference in greater esteem than the other. In her passage regarding apologizing,

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