The other day, a Facebook friend of mine posted this interesting article about pronouns. Just how often are you saying “I” versus “You” in everyday conversation? And what does it mean? I thought the article was fascinating, interesting and something that questioned my own self-awareness.
A new book, The Secret Life of Pronouns by James Pennebaker, discusses the the way our words have meaning and impact in our relationships and how we are viewed, all the while giving away our background, age and self-confidence level.
On NPR, Mr. Pennebaker used his studies to deepen this subject further: Predicting dating success. Matching how we say and what we say- to how our potential partner (or actual partner) says it too. You can try this out yourself at Pennebaker’s Website. He has an exercise in which you can actually compare your language to your boyfriend/husband/wife/partner/etc.: In Synch Language Style Matching.
His website also offers some other interesting exercises. I spent about 45 minutes on his site trying out all the fun activities. You can even analyze your Tweets! Take for example, Kim Kardashian’s tweets:
Analysis of tweets from kimkardashian
(1220 most recent words – 2nd May, 2012)
Another fun exercise is the Life Survey . I took the Life Survey and discovered my scores were as follows:
Suburbanite dimension (which ranges from 0 to 13) is: 5. You would be considered LOW on this dimension. You live an unconventional life that might be best suited for the middle of a big city or perhaps in the middle of a deserted prairie, on a mountaintop, or floating peacefully on your boat in the middle of the ocean.
Cultured dimension (which ranges from 0 to 13) is: 11. You are HIGH on this dimension. You clearly care about your community, your health, and your mind. You may be a little too introspective at times.
Slacker dimension (which ranges from 0 to 13) is: 3. The Surgeon General would be proud of you because you are LOW on this dimension. You appear to relate to human beings more than to computers. You may even have a strong spiritual side to you. In your heart, you know that drinking or smoking to excess is a bad idea.
Preppie dimension (which ranges from 0 to 12) is: 6. You scored in the MODERATE range on this dimension. You aren’t obsessed with your appearance but aren’t a complete slob either. This computer program thinks you have a generally healthy approach to much of your life.
I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Sold. I’m going to have to get this book. What do your pronouns say about you?