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I enjoyed Pennebaker's research and insight into how the "little words" we use, those sly little buggers like articles and pronouns, have such a big impact on the messages we convey and receive, and how we process them primarily through our subconscious mind. The dissection of corporate and political communications he used as examples throughout helped to clarify and reinforce his points.
The narration was a good match for the material. The narrator's pace, diction and inflection complemented the content and gave it life, delivering Pennebaker's subtle humor in just the right manner and reading more like a story than a dry research paper. There were a few areas, such as where he touched upon forensics, that started down the academic path, but for the most part the writing was as entertaining as it was informative and enlightening.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
James Pennebaker has surprised me with a little book titled, The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us. I got through the first chapter or so and discovered that it is a really informative book. Stay with me now! This book is not about pronouns, per se, but about what our use of pronouns says about our behavior. He reports his empirical research in the field of words and applies his findings to everyday work and life. Along the way, he reveals how writing our thoughts can help alleviate tension, improve health, and relieve depression. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on words in organizations where Pennebaker distinguishes between “I”, “we” and “they” organizations. Valuable as well is the chapter in which he provides short-cuts to using the insights he has covered to understanding daily encounters with colleagues and friends. The audio book is read by Rober Fass to advantage. There are numerous refereces to PDFs which are readily available. I just kept listening and could follow the basic arguments and ideas readily without them. This book is well worth your time. Turn a few pages and see if there isn’t insight you can use.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful