Talking styles

Posted: December 2nd, 2013

Talking styles




Talking styles

The article “Shared talking styles herald new and lasting romance” seeks to explain why people who have similar conversation techniques and language tend to pair up and have longer lasting relationships. This essay is a critique of the article especially in relation to language Style Matching. While some of the claims in the article are true some are not realistic. Language may be an instrumental tool in any conversation but people can also communicate using non-verbal communication techniques to express their feelings and emotions.

Communication between two people will never be effective if they are not paying attention to each other. Matching conversational styles stand to benefit people in any type of relationship.  Verbal coordination is even more significant when the people have a romantic relationship. Applying unconscious verbal communication (Language Style Matching) between couples is said to result in stable relationships and mutual romantic interests (Bower, 2010). Actions of each partner also influence how much they will connect and relate with each other. The article does not highlight this even though most couples in a romantic relationship connect through touch, emotional tones and other means.

Use of language between people depends on the type of communication being used whether written or verbal (Parker, 2010). Even with the extensive analysis in the article, written communication such as email, messages and letters are not given much premise. Accordingly, the research may not have a clear system of such types of communication because of its limiting and rigid characteristic. Face to face communication is given premise in the article. People from different work places, gender or class tend to communicate differently. Function words are used to help them connect to each other.

Using function words while communicating can create a bond between two people and form a lasting relationship. However, other factors influence things that draw people towards each other. These factors include: background, interests, personal preferences and sometimes the environment. There is a general consensus among communication experts that when a couple is involved in a face-to-face conversation, a small percentage of the complete message is found in the words used. The larger percentage is contained in the type of vocal elements used such as speed, tonal variations, inflection, accent and volume (Preston, 2005).

I took a Language Matching Style test (LSM) using general written samples between a dating couple between the age of 22 and 24 in the LSM website. The LSM score was 0.89 which is above average. Generally the LSM score is high in consistent conversations such a face-to-face and telephone calls. On the other hand, LSM conversations are lower in interactions that are not direct such as emails, messages and letters. LSM scores are also higher when the mindset and topic between the couple is similar. Other causes of low LSM scores include; use of very few words, different writing genres and too many IM shortcuts and misspellings.

When the system is calculating written communication, they might be inaccurate. Written communication provides a clear and definite set of information to analyze conversations. However, its rigidity might limit information that might provide a broader understanding of the words used. Verbal communication on the other hand would be hard to calculate accurately using LSM because a one on one conversation is not only influenced by words but also the tone. Limitations such as use of few words and different genres of writing may also cause the calculation to be inaccurate.

Language Style Matching is not a comprehensive method to predict the quality of relationships. Focusing on the type of words used and relating them to the couple is inconclusive because they are not the only determinants. Different couples communicate differently and understand each other in their own specific way. Many people relate more when they use other methods to communicate such as gestures and other actions. Words are also limiting and do not allow people to express their true feelings. Words without actions can also cause misunderstandings and miscommunication between people.






Bower, B. (November, 2010). Shared talking styles herald new and lasting romance. Science News. Retrieved from .

Preston, P. (January 01, 2005). Nonverbal communication: do you really say what you mean? Journal of Healthcare Management / American College of Healthcare Executives, 50, 2.

Parker, J. (2010). Communication. New York: Weigl Publishers.


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