This series of lectures draws on linguistics, or the scientific study of language, to show the many ways in which language has a profound effect upon human relationships. These lectures address the various aspects and implications of what Professor Tannen calls "conversational style". It also looks at the dynamics of specific situations, such as the workplace and classroom, where the role of conversational style is of particular importance.
A person's conversational style includes far more than the words that he or she speaks. Each conversation is composed of contextual cues, unspoken messages, body language, and the rhythms of speech. For the most part, people communicate without a conscious focus on the subtleties of language. Through this course, the complexities of language, and all that language entails, will become more apparent.