Discussion Questions

This essay paper is going to address two questions relating to the linguistic patterns of men and women in United States of America. The first question is to describe three (3) linguistic patterns that women in the United States tend to learn as children and how these patterns differ from those of men, and the implications of these differences for the workplace. The second question will be to discuss how the relationship between the different conversation styles of men and women affects sexual harassment in the workplace.The process of child growth and development is a complex but also an interesting experience to the parent.

During the early stages of child development boys and girls freely mingle and play with each other without shame or feeling shy; however as they approach early adolescent things tend to change. According to Hanke, girls and boys split into single sex groups and develop and unique form of language once they hit the adolescent stage. It is this language that they develop during adolescent that they carry it all the way to womanhood and it most cases it affects their social and professional life (Hanke, 1995). One of the linguistic patterns displayed by girls in America is that they spend a lot time having a one-on-one conversation with each other as a result they became emotionally attached and this trend is carried all the way to adulthood (Hoffman, 2007).Apart from the emotional attachment as a trend, another trend is that as girls go through “girl bonding” during adolescence stage, they like engaging in endless girl talk and gossip. Hoffman has stated that the last linguistic pattern is that most girls develop a unique “woman language” that only them can understand and in most cases they are forced to switch back to normal language for them to have a meaningful conversation with men (Hoffman, 2007).

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The above discussed patterns are the exact opposite of what men go through; men became more dominating and direct in their speech and also they become less emotional. It is these differences that make a difference in the work place because in most situations men are more emotionally and psychologically stable when faced with challenges as compared to women and this in most cases gives men an advantage over their female counterparts.There are three main styles of communication that are used by men and women on a social and professional level and they are linear, branching and meandering conversation style. The difference however is how these styles are applied by men and women; according to Tannen, men use conversations to make their presence felt in a place whereas women use it in order to get intimate to their fellow females (Tannen, 1990). It is this boldness approach to conversation that men have that mostly leads to sexual harassment in the workplace.

For instance a man can utter a vulgar word towards his female work mate in a joking manner but since she is not used to such, she will take it as a form of sexual harassment and take legal action. It is therefore important for girls to be advised that the linguistic patterns that they adapt to during adolescence might come and affect their professional and social lives in future so they should learn to separate this girl trends from the realities of life.Another negative way that these linguistic trends can affect girls when they become of age is during courtship and marriage; some women always try to turn their men into “girl friends” and try to share with them their inner feelings or engage them in girl talk and this usually causes friction / misunderstanding between the two partners since men feel they are being asked to be what they cannot be.