Deborah F. Tannen

Georgetown University
Humanities and Arts
Literature and Language Studies
Deborah Tannen is university professor and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. Her books and articles address such topics as spoken and written language; cross-cultural communication; everyday conversation in English and Greek; linguistic parallels between everyday conversation and literary discourse; the increasingly adversarial nature of public discourse; gender and language; and the language of social media. The recipient of five honorary doctorates, she has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University; has spent a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ; and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Among her 26 books (13 authored, 13 edited or co-edited), You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation was on the New York Times best seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 31 languages; You Were Always Mom's Favorite!, about sisters, and You're Wearing THAT?, about mothers and grown daughters, were also New York Times best sellers; The Argument Culture won the Common Ground Book Award; and I Only Say This Because I Love You and You Were Always Mom’s Favorite won Books for a Better Life awards. Her most recent book is Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey from World War I Warsaw and My Quest to Follow. Tannen has been a guest on such television and radio news and information shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Good Morning America, The Today Show, PBS NewsHour, Fresh Air, Oprah, Hardball, and Nightline. She has been featured in and written for such newspapers and magazines as The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, USA Today, HuffPost, and the Harvard Business Review. She has also published poems, short stories, and personal essays. Her play "An Act of Devotion" is included in The Best American Short Plays 1993-1994.
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