Language, Gender and Conversation

Language,Gender and Conversation

Language,Gender and Conversation

Evolutionof the English Language

Textand instant messaging lingo and spelling have gained a lot ofpopularity in modern day conversations. Technological advancementsthat have led to a shift from face to face communication tocommunication via electronic devices such as mobile phones andcomputers have facilitated this popularity. In informal discussion,several short forms of words or phrases have been developed. Theseshort forms are widely accepted and used especially by the youth inthe modern day society.

Thenew text and messaging lingo may end up replacing the originalEnglish language learnt in schools due to some reasons. The socialmedia has played a crucial role in the development of the new textand instant messaging lingo. People, especially the young people,tend to use the new language so as to fit in the modern society. Theshort forms also serve in saving time spent in communications. Thenew lingo can also be used to send coded language, for instance, tohide information from the elderly people who may not understand thecurrent messaging jargon. All these factors combined have led to again in popularity of the new spelling, text and instant messaginglingo. Many people tend to use the new lingo sometimes even in formaloccasions as they assume many people understand the jargons.Continued use of the new language may eventually lead to this lingoreplacing the English language learnt in schools.

Differencesin Language Rituals Based on Gender

InDr Deborah’s lecture on &quotGender-Specific Language Rituals&quot,she brings out the differences between males and females in statusand connection. According to her, men are mainly motivated by thestatus accorded to them by the conversation. On the other hand, womenare driven by the connection created by the discussion. When boys areconversing, they try to talk each other out, by each boy trying toshow that he is the best in the group which accords him a high status(YouTube, 2016). Boys ascertain their high status in the group bygiving orders. The boys who take orders in the group are thought tobe of low status. Each boy in a group may tend to tell stories andmake jokes in the group so as to be the center of attraction whichaccords him a high status in the group. These boys’ languagerituals can be observed in a group of small boys discussing thewealth of their parents. Each boy tries to outdo each other in theconversation which sometimes leads to exaggeration.

Accordingto Deborah, women have different language rituals. By being motivatedby the connection brought about by the communication, women tend toshow each other that they are facing similar situations instead oftrying to talk each other out (YouTube, 2016). The ritual is evidentfrom the conversations between both adult and young females. Forinstance, when a woman confides in her female friend about theproblems he/she is facing in her marriage, the other woman tries toshow her that she is also facing some similar problems. Theconversation develops a close connection between the females. Femalesdo not also aim at being the centre of attraction during a groupdiscussion, and they tend to give each other equal chances to speak.Being a girl, I sometimes find myself practising some of these femalelanguage rituals. For instance, when a girl tells me about her bodyflaws, I always try to find an equally logical flaw I have so as toconsole my friend. This leads to more connection between us whichstrengthens the friendship. From the analysis of Deborah’s lecture,it is evident that most people don’t say what they mean, but whattheir gender language rituals force them to say.

FactorsInfluencing the Conversation Style

InDr Tannen’s &quotThat`s Not What I Meant! Signals, Devices, andRituals&quot video, the conversational signals, devices and therituals influencing the conversational style is talked about. Shedescribes some things which she refers to as big five, which alsoaffect the conversational style. The big five include the ethnicbackground, regional background, age, class and gender (YouTube,2016). The conversational signals highlighted in the video are thepitch of the voice used the speed of talking, use of pauses andpacing in a conversation, the musicality of the voice, the voicequality, intonation patterns and use of particular attitude during aconversation (YouTube, 2016). The following are the conversationaldevices highlighted by Dr Tannen: Turn taking, indirectness,insulting, teasing, irony, joking and listenership (YouTube, 2016).According to Dr Tannen, conversation rituals vary among people.However, all conversation rituals are a two-way system. Examples ofconversation rituals are greetings and apologies.

Rapportand Report Talk Differences

&quotMenand Women Talking Together&quot video analyses rapport talk andreport talk. Rapport talk is mainly used by women. On the other hand,men mainly use report talk. In using rapport talk, women try tocreate good relations with the people they are conversing with(YouTube, 2016). Women may, therefore, talk less as compared to menas they fear to offend someone when talking. On the other hand, menuse report talk, by conversing in large groups while each man istrying to establish or maintain an individual status (YouTube, 2016).To achieve this, they are usually forced to talk too much most of thetimes.


YouTube.(2016). DeborahTannen That`s Not What I Meant! Signals, Devices, and Rituals.Retrieved 3 February 2016, from

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