Name: The language of breaks
Years: Eternal. Ever since Eva ate that unfortunate grenade, romantic relationships have been troublesome. And people have to find a way to say goodbye. But this particular …
Wait. Eve didn’t eat a grenade. It was an apple. The facts are disputed. Let’s not fight about it. As I was saying before you interrupted me, this particular analysis of the language of breakups has just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an American scientific journal.
It sounds a bit academic. Indeed, but with important implications in the real world.
Do I really want to hear this? You do. Three American psychologists from the University of Texas at Austin have analyzed more than one million posts from 6,800 Reddit users on the r / BreakUps subreddit …
As one does. Could you PLEASE stop interrupting me? Have analyzed posts from people involved in breakups and found that the language they were using changed three months before a breakup occurred. And it didn’t return to normal until at least six months later.
Let me guess linguistic gifts: anger at being interrupted, capitalization and mocking ironic PLEASURES; excessive use of exclamation marks. You think you’re so smart, don’t you? The signs are much more subtle. People who are about to break up use more personal and informal language, saying “I” and “we” a lot.
How? “These are signs that someone has a high cognitive load,” explains Sarah Seraj, lead author of the study. “They are thinking or working on something and they are focusing more on themselves.”
Any other signs? They use words like “would”, “should”, “because” and “result” more often because they are trying to solve some process that they do not understand. They also use “very” and “really” more often, and tend to resort to negatives like “no” and “never”.
You used the word “because”. A slip, I assure you.
Um, I’m not so sure. There is a drop in the use of “a”, “the”, “in” and “in”, indicating a breakdown in logical thinking.
I’m sorry but that sounds like total shit. I suggest that the use of rude words indicates that your logical thinking is breaking down.
Maybe you are right. Are people aware when their language changes that a relationship breakup is imminent? Apparently not. “It seems that even before people realize a breakup is going to happen, it starts to affect their lives,” says Seraj. Unconsciously, they know that the relationship is in trouble and the words they use reflect it.
I … I mean that … we should … Oh, what am I trying to say? I think you’re trying to tell me it’s over between us.
I really wanted it to work and never thought it would come to this. This is life. Just don’t spend the next six months on the Reddit Break-Ups forum. Seraj says it’s terrible for your mental well-being.
Sing: I will Survive.
Don `t sing: What about a broken heart?
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism