That's Not What I Meant

  • by Deborah Tannen
  • Narrated by Deborah Tannen
  • 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

This series of lectures draws on linguistics, or the scientific study of language, to show the many ways in which language has a profound effect upon human relationships. These lectures address the various aspects and implications of what Professor Tannen calls "conversational style". It also looks at the dynamics of specific situations, such as the workplace and classroom, where the role of conversational style is of particular importance.A person's conversational style includes far more than the words that he or she speaks. Each conversation is composed of contextual cues, unspoken messages, body language, and the rhythms of speech. For the most part, people communicate without a conscious focus on the subtleties of language. Through this course, the complexities of language, and all that language entails, will become more apparent.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is pseudo-scholarship at its worst. I was very disappointed to learn the lectures were by the woman who wrote the awful book, "you just don't understand" but thought I would give give it a short since I'd paid for it. It was just as bad as her book. This woman shamelessly perverts science. She creates untestable hypotheses which would make Freud blush. She even begins with an idle boast that she "saved a marriage" of a student through her course. She then proceeds to insult our intelligence with conversation analysis that a ten year-old could constuct if they were forced to waste their time that way. I am shocked this woman is alongside excellent scholars on the other lectures in this series.
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- Maroy


If you have read any of Deborah Tannen's popular titles, you will probably enjoy this. It is billed as a series of lectures (boring!) but you could just as easily reframe it as different chapters in an audio book.

Concepts are explained simply and clearly. It is quite accessable to the lay person, because there isn't an assumed level of knowledge.

Having read some previous titles by the same author, several vignettes were familiar, but it was quite amusing/entertaining to hear them read aloud. (eg the story about the pediatrician talking to the little girl.)

There is also an accompanying booklet to download. If you are considering downloading this title, the accompanying booklet gives a rough idea of what you can expect. It is very helpful if you want to follow up any of the authors cited.

Would highly recommend for people with a general interest in communication, or linguistics.
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- Tilley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-23-2008
  • Publisher: Recorded Books