Deborah Tannen

Deborah Tannen

Professor of Linguistics

Georgetown University

Deborah Tannen has been a member of the linguistics department faculty at Georgetown since 1979; she is one of six in the College of Arts and Sciences who hold the distinguished rank of University Professor.  In addition to her seventeen academic books and over one hundred scholarly articles, she has written eight books for general audiences.  The best known of these is You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on the New York Times best seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 31 languages. This is the book that brought gender differences in communication style to the forefront of public awareness. Her book Talking from 9 to 5Women and Men at Work did for the workplace what the earlier book did for conversations at home, and was a New York Times Business best seller. Her books You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives and You’re Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation were also New York Times best sellers. You’re The Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships, her 25th book, was published in May 2017.

Deborah Tannen is a frequent guest on television and radio news and information shows, including The Colbert Report, 20/20, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Talk Show, PBS NewsHour, Charlie Rose, Oprah, Hardball, Nightline, and many shows on CNN and NPR such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, and Fresh Air. She has been featured in and written for most major newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, USA Today, People, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review. Please visit Dr. Tannen’s website, (new window), for more information about her research, publications, and media appearances.


University of California-Berkeley – Ph.D.