Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

“Need to know information” vs. “Do not need to know”

1 Comment

How often do you pay attention to how many words you say in a day? I think it is safe to say that none of us keep a count of that statistic. However, there have been studies done of the topic. According to those, women speak more than men. I read “Who Does the Talking Here?” by Deborah Tannen and had a revelation of my own. Women may not be the “talkers” society claims us to be. Tannen’s approach is that we must examine the context of the conversation. Ask ourselves, “What’s the situation? What are the speakers using words for?”. In reflecting on how when I talk the most, I fall into the category of “speaking to intimates and focusing on personal experience”. If I am having a conversation with a male, I tend to use specific detail in telling the simplest story. I have even been called out for doing so. I share more than the person needs to know to understand what I am talking about. On the other hand, men will tell me facts instead of feelings or opinions on whatever it is we are talking about. They are straight to the point, nothing more. Even if I throw in more details while communicating, it is all contextual. When men begin talking about sports or a movie I am unfamiliar with, of course they will dominate the conversation. (No, not all women are ignorant of sports.) I know that if I start talking about the last episode of Gossip Girl, I will leave nothing left to the imagination. Men and women communicate differently. I agree with Tannen that the statistic of who uses more words, all depends on when, where, and what the interaction happens.


Author: reganrs

I am a Mass Communication student at East Tennessee State University. While in college, I have discovered a love for discussion, writing, and technology. A couple of my blogs are for my classes while my latest one is an outlet for me to express my opinions are various issues. Enjoy.

One thought on ““Need to know information” vs. “Do not need to know”

  1. Fascinating observations & great intro to the Tannen article. I like/appreciate context and it’s helpful. Jumping into a topic assumes that everyone is on the same page, which isn’t the case–maybe that’s a relic? We think we all have the same knowledge or philosophy? Last week a colleague sent me directions to an event in another town we were both attending & they were fantastic because they provided context such as “the road veers to the left; follow it” and “there’s a multi-story historic home across from the turn-off.” i like more information, in this case, because it let me know I was headed the right direction.

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