He and She: What's the Real Difference?

“Koppel’s group found that the single biggest difference is that women are far more likely than men to use personal pronouns-‘I’, ‘you’, ‘she’, ‘myself’, or ‘yourself’ and the like. Men, in contrast, are more likely to use determiners-‘a,’ ‘the,’ ‘that,’ and ‘these’-as well as cardinal numbers and quantifiers like ‘more’ or ‘some.’ As one of the papers published by Koppel’s group notes, men are also more likely to use ‘post-head noun modification with an of phrase’-phrases like ‘garden of roses.'” Clive Thompson summarizes forthcoming schoarship on gender and language. —He and She: What’s the Real Difference? (Boston Globe)

I enjoyed reading the tidbit about how the first version of their paper was rejected by a major journal on the grounds that it was anti-feminist. After “[o]ne of the coauthors, Anat Shimoni, added her middle name ‘Rachel’ to her byline,” the authors got no further criticism.