Session 9

People often say ‘you’ when describing their own experiences. Today we examine one psychologist’s theory about why this happens.
ਅਕਸਰ ਲੋਕ ਆਪਣੇ ਤਜ਼ਰਬਿਆਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸਣ ਲੱਗਿਆਂ ‘you’ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਇੱਕ ਮਨੋਵਿਗਿਆਨੀ ਨਜ਼ਰੀਏ ਤੋਂ ਅਜਿਹਾ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਵਿਰਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਾਂਗੇ।

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

Why do we say ‘you’ when we describe our own personal experiences?

People often say ‘you’ when describing their own experiences. Today we examine one psychologist’s theory about why this happens.
ਅਕਸਰ ਲੋਕ ਆਪਣੇ ਤਜ਼ਰਬਿਆਂ ਬਾਰੇ ਦੱਸਣ ਲੱਗਿਆਂ ‘you’ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ। ਅੱਜ ਅਸੀਂ ਇੱਕ ਮਨੋਵਿਗਿਆਨੀ ਨਜ਼ਰੀਏ ਤੋਂ ਅਜਿਹਾ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਪ੍ਰਵਿਰਤੀ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਝਾਂਗੇ।

Before you listen/ਸੁਣਨ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ

Consider the following questions:
1) Is ‘you’ a word which applies to just one person, or can it apply to more people?
2) How do we express our ideas about things which are normal?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

రాత ప్రతిని చూపు రాత ప్రతిని చూపవద్దు

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
Hello! Welcome to Listen Here! ਮੇਰਾ ਨਾਮ ਰਾਜਵੀਰ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸੀਂ ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ ਖ਼ਬਰ ਜਗਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਅੰਗਰੇਜ਼ੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਸਮਝਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਮਦਦ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਾਂ।

Sam
Hi, I’m Sam
 
Tom

And I’m Tom. Hi everybody.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
Oh! What’s wrong, Tom?

Tom
I’m sad. My dog died recently. You have a best friend when you have a dog.

Sam
What? I don’t have a dog.

Tom
I wasn’t talking about you, Sam!

Sam
You were! You said “you have a best friend when you have a dog”. And you were talking to me.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
ਟੌਮ ਆਪਣੇ ਕੁਝ ਨਿੱਜੀ ਤਜ਼ਰਬੇ ਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਾਝੇ ਕਰ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਪਰ‘I’ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਬਜਾਏ ‘you’ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦਾ ਇਸਤੇਮਾਲ ਕਰ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। Why are you doing this, Tom?

Tom
Hmm… We often use ‘you’ when we’re speaking in general.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
Speaking generally, ਜਾਂ speaking in general ਮਤਲਬ ਗ਼ੈਰ ਰਸਮੀ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਗੱਲ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ। General ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦਾ ਅਰਥ ਹੈ ਸਧਾਰਨ, ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ਣ ਹੈ ‘generic’. BBC Radio 4’ ਦੇ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ  All in the Mind ਵਿੱਚੋਂ ਲਿਆ ਗਿਆ ਇੱਕ ਕਲਿੱਪ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ। ਮਨੋਵਿਗਾਨ ਵਿਸ਼ੇ ਦੇ ਅਮਰੀਕੀ ਪ੍ਰੋਫ਼ੈਸਰ ਬਹੁਤ ਹੀ ਮਜ਼ੇਦਾਰ ਵਿਸ਼ੇ ‘generic you’ ਬਾਰੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਚਰਚਾ ਕਰ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ। ਉਹੀ ‘you’ ਜਿਸਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਟੌਮ ਨੇ ਕੀਤੀ ਸੀ। ਉਸਨੇ ਟੌਮ ਵਲੋਂ ‘you’ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਦੇ ਕੀ ਕਾਰਨ ਦੱਸੇ?

Professor
So we were studying this generic 'you', so 'you' that refers to people in general rather than a specific person. And see whether people use generic you to essentially try to construct norms, uh, or normalise their own deeply personal experiences.

Sam
Ah! So, Tom is trying to normalise his experience!

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
Normalise
ਕਿਸੇ ਚੀਜ਼ ਨੂੰ ਸਧਾਰਨ ਜਾਂ ਆਮ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਲਈ। Do you think it’s normal to feel so close to a pet, Tom?

Tom
Yeah! Of course.

Sam
So you’re using “you” to make your statement seem normal or general  .

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
‘Make’ ਲਈ ਦੂਸਰਾ ਸ਼ਬਦ ‘construct’ ਹੈ। ਦੁਬਾਰਾ ਸੁਣੋ ‘construct’ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਕਿਹੜੇ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਗਈ।

Professor
So we were studying this generic 'you', so 'you' that refers to people in general rather than a specific person. And see whether people use generic you to essentially try to construct norms.

Sam
She said to construct norms.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
A norm ਮਤਲਬ ਜੋ ਕਿ ਆਦਰਸ਼ਕ ਜਾਂ ਸਧਾਰਨ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ ਹੋਵੇ। ਪ੍ਰੋਫੈਸਰ ਦਾ ਲਹਿਜਾ ਅਮਰੀਕੀ ਹੈ ਇਸ ਲਈ ਉਸ ਦੇ ਬੋਲਣ ਦਾ ਤਕੀਕਾ ਸੈਮ ਤੋਂ ਅਲੱਗ ਹੈ। ਚਲੋ ਕਲਿੱਪ ਦਾ ਦੂਸਰਾ ਅੱਧ ਸੁਣਦੇ ਹਾਂ। Arianna ਅਨੁਸਾਰ ਸਧਾਰਨ ‘you’ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਦੇ ਦੋ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵ ਕੀ ਹਨ?

Professor
And we found that using generic you helped people to feel that the event was more distant in time and people reported that they were able to think about the event differently than they had before and had higher feelings of closure afterwards.   

Sam
Interesting! She suggests that using generic you can help you think about past events differently! By not using ‘I’, she suggests things can feel further away.

Tom
Hmm. If I say ‘I have a best friend when I have a dog’, it does sound very personal!

Sam
Also, by avoiding I, and using ‘you’, we suggest that this experience is one that many people share. That’s also why we use the present tense – to suggest it’s always true  

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
ਉਸਨੇ ਕਿਹੜੀਆਂ ਭਾਵਨਾਵਾਂ ਹਨ ਜਿੰਨਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਉਸਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਸਧਾਰਨ ‘you’ ਨੂੰ ਦਰਸਾਉਂਦੀਆਂ ਹਨ? ‘Feelings of’ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਦੁਬਾਰਾ ਸੁਣੋ।

Professor
And we found that using generic you helped people to feel that the event was more distant in time and people reported that they were able to think about the event differently than they had before and had higher feelings of closure afterwards.

Tom
She said ‘closure’.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
Closure ਮਤਲਬ  ਕਿਸੇ ਚੀਜ਼ ਨੂੰ ਬੰਦ ਕਰਨਾ। Do you think generic you helps to provide closure, Tom?
 
Tom
Actually, yes! Using generic you helps to add some distance between me and this painful memory.

Sam
Ah! Here, Tom said ‘to add’. Because ‘add’ starts with a vowel sound, we have a ‘w’ sound which links the two words. Say it with me!

add
to add
helps to add distance
generic you helps to add distance

Tom
So, we can use generic you to speak generally and to suggest something that is normal. It can also help to add distance between us and an event that we’re talking about.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
And we’re out of time!

Sam
See?  Time goes so quickly when you’re having fun!

Tom
Nice use of generic you Sam.

Sam
Thanks very much Tom.

ਰਾਜਵੀਰ
See you next time for more Listen Here! Bye!.

Language features

Listen to today’s clip in full here

Source: All in the Mind

generic you

This is a form of ‘you’ we use when we want to comment on people in general. It is similar in form to the pronoun ‘one’. Use of ‘you’ in this way implies that we are speaking based on our own experiences. If we are making generalisations, we often use the present simple tense, which suggests that something is always true.

I’m sad because my dog died. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!

We can also use the possessive form, your, to the same effect.

Your dog is like your best friend. It’s sad when they die.

norm

A norm is an abstract noun which means ‘something that is standard’. It relates to the adjective, normal.

The legal norm in this situation is for the buyer to pay the seller as quickly as possible.

We can also use ‘the norm’. This means ‘the normal thing in a context’.

We didn’t use smartphones in the past but in recent years they’ve become the norm.

When we want to say that something is actively being made normal we can use the verb ‘normalise’.

There are allegations that the politician is trying to normalise political violence in his speeches.

closure

Closure is a feeling of relief or resolution. We often use closure to stress the long duration of the experience which came before.

The funeral was horrible to organise but I did feel a sense of closure when it was all finished.

Why do we say ‘you’ when we describe our own personal experiences?

3 Questions

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Listen Here ਦੀ ਅਗਲੀ ਕੜੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਡੇ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜੋ , ਜਿਥੇ ਅਸੀਂ ਸਿਖਾਂਗੇ ਹੋਰ ਵਰਤੋਂਯੋਗ ਇੰਗਲਿਸ਼ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਅਤੇ ਤੁਹਾਡੇ ਸੁਣਨ ਦੇ ਹੁਨਰ ਦਾ ਅਭਿਆਸ ਕਰਵਾਵਾਂਗੇ।

 

Session Vocabulary

  • in general
    ਸਧਾਰਨ ਰੂਪ ਵਿੱਚ

    generally
    ਆਮ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ

    generic
    ਆਮ

    construct
    ਉਸਾਰਨਾ