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08

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Quick Write 082611 “Use of I-words”

According to the Slate article that I found while browsing online magazine websites, the following groups use I-words at higher rates than other clusters of people:

1. Women
2. Followers (not leaders)
3. Truth-tellers (not liars)
4. Young
5. Poor
6. Depressed
7. Afraid (but not angry)
8. Sick
h*tp://www.slate.com/id/2301859

The data is presented by the linguistic psychologist James Pennebaker who’s going to publish “The Secret Life of Pronouns” at the end of August. The more frequent use of I-words can mean that the groups 1-8 people put more focus on personal experiences.

Well, I won’t challenge the research finding that the expert in the field reached after long and thorough investigation. Well, I don’t disagree that women in general would like to talk about their experiences. They’d go, “Hey, I met X in the office and talked about Y. X told me that Y broke up with her boyfriend Z. Did you know that? ” Or “Guess what! I went out for lunch alone and happened to find out a nice cozy restaurant. I had a wonderful lunch break there. Wasn’t that nice?” Or “I went shopping after work looking for a nice autumn jacket. I wanted to buy a dark red one, but couldn’t find a good one. Then I decided to go to another mall and browsed items for about an hour, but I just ended up with … Hey are you listening to me?” Or “Honey, I need your undivided attention now. I had a really bad day at work. I just did what I was supposed to do, but my boss got so angry at my work. I didn’t know what to say, and… Hey are you following me?” One of my ex-students who I dined out with tonight said he can’t stand listening to his wife’s story after he got back home late at night. They’re a newly-wed couple who probably are in the phase of adapting themselves to live happily and cooperatively together, but I couldn’t help recalling the Slate article that I read this morning. I truly hope that his dear wife not be talking like that. If I were him and my wife talked pointlessly and endlessly like that, I’d surely space out in the middle of the talk. Well, he seems to have enough patience and kindness to sit through whatever his wife has to say, and more importantly, I shouldn’t nose into their business.

(40 minutes / 405 words)

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Aya

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