53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
"We" are amused!,
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This review is from: The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us (Hardcover)
The title of James Pennebaker's excellent new book, "The Secret Life of Pronouns", is a bit misleading as it involves so much more than pronouns, themselves. It is a book about language with pronouns playing an active role and one about interaction and comparison.
Pennebaker is a social psychologist and, as one might expect, offers many charts to illustrate his findings. The first few chapters deal with a high degree of word analysis with "function words" being a particular favorite of his. This can be a bit of a slog, but when the author gets into a chapter on lying words, the book really takes off. I highly enjoyed his delving into the national political scene and reading about how John Kerry's advisors suggested he use "we" instead of "I" in his campaign speeches. Pennebaker also compares the social-emotional language of past presidents with regard to their State of the Union addresses and relates his discoveries of who might have authored some of the anonymous Federalist Papers.
There is much to be found in "The Secret Life of Pronouns"...again, more than the title implies. The author has an engaging writing style which helps to add color to his anaylses. While this is not a fast read, it's a solid one. I highly recommend it.