Social Saturdays’ posts look at the social side of language. After all, language isn’t just a way to communicate, it is communication.

In the short history of sociolinguistics, many studies have been done on how sex and gender relate to the way in which we speak.

Many early findings included:

Women have smaller vocabulary than men, use simpler sentence structure than men, speak with little prior thought – Jespersen, 1922

Women use fewer interruptions, softer directives: would you mind, a different use of colour terms: mauve, ecru, lavender and of adjectives: adorable, divine, weaker expletives: oh fudge and a greater use of tags and hedges: it’s nice isn’t it?, I mean, you see…

Of course, these are now known to be unfounded.

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