Does Language for Women Really Exist?

 

We can’t live without language. We may not realize it but language is all around us. We, men and women, need language—talking to a friend, asking for direction, reading an instruction or sign, texting, posting on social media, even listening to music. However, do men and women use language the same way?

It has been a long debate whether or not women and men are equal. Some believe that man and woman are the same. Women are capable to do what men can do—or talk the way men talk. There is no difference between the two. In 1975, however, Robin Lakoff proposed the idea that man and woman talk differently. Her book, Language and Woman’s Place, has inspired many studies on language and gender in sociolinguistics field.

According to Lakoff, women’s speech can be distinguished from men’s in some ways, such as:

  1. Hedges

Women tend to use phrases such as “sort of …,” “kind of …,” “it seems like….”

  1. Empty adjectives

Some examples of empty adjectives are “cute,” “adorable,” “gorgeous,” “divine.” These adjective don’t really describe anything most of the time. “Aih, lucu banget….”

  1. Super-polite forms

Compare to men, women tend to talk politely.

"Would you mind lending me a hand?"

  1. Avoid coarse language

Men use swearwords more than women. Instead of saying the exact swear words, lots of women tend to censor those foul words a bit. So, they may say "anjrit" or "anying" when swearing and not "anj*ng".

  1. Indirect meaning

“Don't you think that restaurant looks cute?” –when actually she’s really curious about the food and wants to eat there.  

  1. Tone

Women tend to use certain tone to emphasize certain words.

What do you think?

Have you ever noticed the differences between men’s and women’s languages before?

Do you agree or disagree with Lakoff?


Tags: Vocabulary Tags: Use of english



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