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The Vocabulary That Reveals Your Personality

The words a person chooses reveals a great deal about their character. It’s not the flowery words or the phrases that provide insight but small words. Pronouns and adjectives hold the key to figuring out a person’s character.

There is a computer program called the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) that analyses how function words such as “I” and “me” are used. It was developed by the American social psychologist James Pennebaker who used it to analyse a varying range of text.

LIWC Software - Lingusitic Inquiry & Word Count. Analysed 400,000 pieces of text: Love letters, student essays and conference transcripts.

It found that the Devil was in the detail.

Assess personality with vocabulary. You need to pay attention to the pronouns. Avoid sounding too materialistic. People who prefer to talk more about objects and things use articles such as "a", "an" and "the". They also use more leisure words and swear words. Self aware individuals. "I", "me" and "mine" are found to be used frequently by those who are more emotionally aware. They also use "he", "she" and "they" often as they focus on talking about people & relationships. You can improve relationship management in written communications with Longer Instant messages and more social words. Happy people tend not to overuse the pronoun "I" unlike those who are feeling a bit blue. Deceptive characters: Markers of honesty also include the words "except", "but" and "without" as the truthful don't shy away from giving details.

Communication and perception...

People make inferences about the kind of person you are from the way that you communicate with them. Sometimes it can be really important to make a lasting and positive first impression.

A few simple things to do if you need to learn new vocabulary, for example when starting a new job in a different industry. Read well written and relevant articles and books. Use sticky notes and flash cards (to remember new vocabulary) Varied vocabulary + More articulation = Better Communicator! Be wary of using too much niche vocabulary though as you may risk alienating people.

Word of the day

Set some goals, make a list of new words that you would like to learn; and set a sensible deadline.

  • ~ Jejune ~Click to reveal meaningAdjective -
    (Of ideas or writings) dry and uninteresting.
  • ~ Laconic ~Click to reveal meaningAdjective -
    (Of a person, speech, or style of writing) using very few words.
  • ~ Reticent ~Click to reveal meaningAdjective -
    Not revealing one's thoughts or feelings readily
  • ~ Prognosticate ~Click to reveal meaningVerb [with obj.] -
    Foretell or prophesy (an event in the future).
  • ~ Recondite ~Click to reveal meaningAdjective -
    (Of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse.
  • ~ Verisimilitude ~Click to reveal meaningNoun -
    The appearance of being true or real.
  • ~ Diaphanous ~Click to reveal meaningAdjective -
    (Esp. of fabric) light, delicate, and translucent.
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Become a More Accessible Communicator

If you want to change how you are perceived when speaking with others there are some simple steps that you can follow.

Keep it simple. It allows you to reach a wider audience and makes you seem more accessible. Make it short and sweet. Too much detail and your audience might think you are boring or dull. Be wary of disclaimers. Balance is very important, certain situations may arise where you don't want to be too blunt. Disclaimers can help you sound more considerate, although if you use them too frequently, people might think you are weak or undecided. Get rid of fillers. This rule is especially important in a business context. Filler words and phrases can make you sound less professional and less knowledgable. Ask someone to point out when you use fillers or time yourself for 15 seconds without saying the filler.

Remember that the little words count. In conversations listen up, be clear and get to the point. Happy Chatting!

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