In her article “But What Do You Mean

In her article “But What Do You Mean?” Deborah Tannen explains, why men and women communicate so badly? Tannen’s research has been motivated by this question. She also shows the reasoning for the miscommunication between men and women. Many controversial rituals among men is trying to maintain the “one-up” position as women tend toward the “one-down” position in relation to Apologizing, criticism, fighting, praise, complaints, jokes, and saying thank you that occurs around the work place. “Many of the conversational rituals common among women are designed to take the other person’s feelings into account, while many of the conversational rituals common among men are designed to maintain the one-up position, or at least avoid appearing one-down.” (299-300) Tannen wants everyone to realize that there is no “correct” way to talk as it’s all based on style differences.
The essay is a collective of workplace stories from other people, categorized into different sub topics with non-linear progression. Deborah uses this strategy to order her topics so her readers directly see the differences in generally how men and women speak in relation with each category. The essay starts with “Conversation is a ritual. We say things that seam obviously the thing to say, without thinking of the literal meaning of our words…” (299) showing that what we say doesn’t always mean the same to others, in which creating complications, generally putting the woman in the conversation down.
Deborah Tannen grew up in New York, and went to college for Linguistics, in the long term earning her PhD. Specializing in communication between men and women for several years and people respect her advice because of it. Also she has spoken among business people, senators, made television appearances, and has written several books, notably, You Just Don’t Understand (1990), The Argument Culture (1998), and I Only Say This Because I Love You (2001). As well she is a professor at Georgetown University, thus making me believe she employs ethos, and logos in her essay to get her point across thoroughly and clearly.