Deborah Tannen 's Article, But What Do You Mean?

Decent Essays

What I Meant was…

In Deborah Tannen’s article, “But What Do You Mean?” she enumerates seven different ways that women and men tend to have a kind of struggle. Tannen discusses how the men and women have different ways of speaking. The seven main differences are classified and divided into: apologies, criticism, thank-yous, fighting, praise, complaints, and jokes. First, men don’t correctly interpret apologies; they often implicate blame with apology, synonymous with putting oneself down. On the other hand, women apologize to calm other people. Second, criticism from men is straight and without a filter; women do not go as hard in their criticisms in order to not destroy that people feelings. Third, most of women use “thanks” automatically; it is easy for them to express their gratitude, although for men it doesn’t work like that. Fourth, during discussion of ideas, men would go as tough and merciless as they can, arguing every opinion or idea in the strongest terms. On the other hand, women would take that arguing as a personal attack. Fifth, men believe that the fact of saying nothing is a way to praise, while women every time they think they have done a good job, praise is expected. Sixth, men interpret complaints as a way to request the solution of a problem; women complain in order to sympathize and feel sorry for other people. Seventh and last, the sense of humor is also different. Sometimes women can view men’s jokes as being offensive. Men’s humor consists more of

Get Access