Sex, Lies and Conversations What is the importance of communication? Communication is an important life skill that helps to people connect by building respect and trust; it can resolve differences in the environment. In Deborah Tannen’s essay “Sex, Lies and Conversations” she highlights the different styles of communication of man and woman. Tannen opens her essay with an anecdote that grabs the reader’s attention with her own personal experiences. Tannen discusses how men and women communicate with each other, how different the ways of communications for opposite sexes are, and how this can lead to a breakable marriage.
AS she says: “Bonds between boys can be as intense as girls’, but they are based less on talking, more on doing things together” (Tannen 264). Tannen reaches the audience by educating with her effective use of dialogue and real-life scenarios to illustrate her points with different communication styles and the emotional needs that a male and a females possess. Deborah Tannen’s arguments Persuasive effectiveness is due to her use of ethos, logos, sources from other professionals in her field, and her analogies and figurative language. an and woman have different ways of communicating. Tannen chieves on presenting the idea of man and woman struggling to create a bond of communication, by using ethos. The use of The majority of people will most likely agree that ethos enables Tannen to use her personal source of her own research and findings. For Example in the beginning of the essay, Tannen opens with a personal anecdote about couples who had experienced failed conversation and miscommunication.
Her personal anecdote generates the attention of the essay, because it captivates the reader on a more emotional level and interest. The readers will naturally try relating the story to their own life, and may be surprised at how asy it is to relate with their own experiences. As she expresses: “In my own research, complaints from women about their husbands most often focused not tangible inequalities such as having given up the chance to a career is far more than their daily life-support work” (Tannen 263).
She infers the use of ethos in the essay, showing Tannen’s trustworthiness and credibility. Overall Tannen’s research of personal experience possesses a higher connection to the audience’s attitude. Not only does Tannen exhibit ethos, but she also integrate other tactics like logos. Tannen uses logos by citing facts and statistics, but also he uses historical and literal analogies, such as “Given the current divorce rate now adays is almost fifty percent that amount to millions of cases in the United States every year” (Tannen 263).
She uses this tactic of persuasion to get to the main point on how men and women have grown up with different types of communication with the same and opposite sex. As she states “these systematic differences in childhood socialization make talk between women and men like cross- cultural communication” (Tannen 264). Tannen stated that man and a women have different ways of communicating with each ther based on how they are raised to communicate. As kids we grow up to find a friend within the same sex; it’s what they are comfortable with at first.
But as we get older and when it comes to talking to the opposite sex it’s difficult because it’s out of both genders comfort zone. She explains in her essay that “intimacy is the fabric of relationships” and girls create and maintain friendship by exchanging secrets, but boys struggle to avoid the subordinate position in the group (Tannen, 264). Another example that Tannen uses logos is by using analogies that make a comparison between the situations a man and woman xperience in communication.
Tannen uses other well-known sociologists that have reported facts of woman and man communication. For instance, she brings in author Catherine Riessman of “Divorce Talk”, states that, “Most of the women she has interviewed only a few said that the men gave lack of communication as the reason for their divorces” (Tannen 264). Deborah Tannen continues to use tactics to persuade the reader. This lead to one of the other tactics by using her professional sources and her figurative language. Tannen’s essay is full of figures of speech to be more effective, persuasive and impactful.
When Tannen is talking about relationships and communication, Tannen describes that “for women, as for girls, intimacy are that fabric of relationships, and talk is the thread from which it is woven” (264). This is a powerful use of figurative language, because she uses simile of words “intimacy and fabric” as well as “talk and thread” to demonstrates and supports the point she is trying to make. Her figurative language makes these comparisons and helps the reader to recreate and trigger familiar emotion so the audience can connect with her essay. The next figurative language technique that Tannen used is onomatopoeia.
At one point she uses the words “mhm,” and “uhuh” to describe the sound women make when engaged in a conversation with a girlfriend. This strategy creates a direct connection of the word in the brain engaging the reader to link with the essay. As Tannen continues with persuasion of the difference of a men and a woman communication, the figurative language she uses reassures the reader of what is the main point of Tannen’s essay. Tannen makes parallel differences by using figurative language as she states “A parallel difference can cause a man to complain about his wife” (265). ses Figurative langue to get across her points.
At the same time she is fair compassionate and nonjudgmental in her depiction of the sexes, even when she uses her personal opinions. It is easy to condemn the husband in the examples like “Men who expect silent attention interpret a stream of listener-noise as overreaction or impatience” (265), as a heartless boor, but she does not, rather she suggests that he is merely unconscious about his conversation patterns, a common to the audience.
These differences in expectations about close relationships, Tannen concludes, causes man and a women to be frustrated in intimate relationships with the opposite sex, especially in arriage. This can also relate to similar situations or articles that list these differences such as “Are We Speaking a Different Language? ” by Lisa Evans where she states “The idea that men and women speak a different language is well-worn in regards to personal relationships”.
However, Tannen reassures us, learning about these communication differences can help couples express their feelings and to listen one another. Tannen talks about ethos; Tannen quotes different books and articles to back up her claims. To continue to persuade the reader, we find logos in her essay, because she uses factual evidence to back up er claims, quoting sociologists like Catherine Kohler Riessman who talks about divorce, and also an American psychologist who talks about children’s development.
Lastly, Tannen also uses figurative language. She appeals to our emotions and values by talking about how both genders interact with each other, making the reader either agree or disagree. Her strategies are really effective because she builds her credibility, sounds factual and connects to the reader. The purpose of her essay is to illustrate the differences of a men and woman interaction within the conversations in their relationship. And ultimately, she does a good job.