Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Statement Analysis of a Dog Lover

A friend posted on Facebook the following post.  It is interesting to note that even a dog lover has a legitimate reason to use distancing language!'

"So here I sit at work googling how to get skunk smell out of your dog...any suggestions...Chance parks it in Nick's game/play room and busted through the screen/window last night about 9:30 PM and came back smelling oh so lovely !! Damn dog !!"

Here is the same post with emphasis added for analysis:

"So here I sit at work googling how to get skunk smell out of your dog...any suggestions...Chance parks it in Nick's game/play room and busted through the screen/window last night about 9:30 PM and came back smelling oh so lovely !! Damn dog !!"


1.   Body posture.

In Statement analysis, we note when body posture enters a statement as a possible increase in tension for the writer. 

"My boss told me to be at work at 8AM" is a common example I use.

It is different from "My boss stood and told me to be at work at 8AM", which the boss' body posture is used as an increase, in the mind of the writer, of tension and stress. It is more authoritative.  The writer, while speaking (or writing) is recalling the body posture of the boss while communicating.  It is the subject (writer) which is expressing stress or tension to us, not the boss.  In the recall, the subject tells us the "needless" information of the boss' body posture.  It is not necessary to say, therefore:

unnecessary information may be doubly important to the analysis.  

2.  Pronouns Are Instinctive and 100% Reliable for Lie Detection and for Information. 

"your" dog.

It is her dog, not "yours"!  

This is instinctive (pronouns are always instinctive and very trustworthy).  They are reliable.  We have been using pronouns all our lives, millions of times and do not need any pre-thought to know which to choose.  

Since she could have said, "how to get the smell out of my dog", we know that "your" dog is to distance herself from her dog. 

Question:  Doesn't she love her dog?

Answer:  Our answer is found in the statement itself.  Remember, the statement is being analyzed, not the subject.  The statement is to be "entered into by us" so that we can re-create and experience what the subject is experiencing. 

She is distancing herself from her dog because he smells!

3.  Question within a statement.  

A question within an open statement is something you should always consider that may be rhetorical:  the subject may be speaking to herself.  

Here, we note that she does not include a question mark.  

It may very well be that she is not seeking advice, but just venting her frustration.  I still answered the question with a local recommendation on where to go to get the right stuff to get the skunk smell out of her dog. 

If you are conducting an interview and the subject asks a question, pause in silence, to see if the subject is actually reliving the event and speaking to herself.  You may be surprised.  

4.  Social Introductions indicate the quality of a relationship. 

"My dog, Chance..." uses

1.  Possessive pronoun
2.  Title "dog"
3.  Name

Perhaps a better example:

"My wife, Dawn, said..."

1.  My:  Possessive pronoun
2.  "Wife" is title
3.  "Dawn" is name

"My wife, Dawn..." is indicative, IN the statement, of a good relationship.  

"My wife" is okay

"The wife" is not so good.


well, you get the picture.  

Sometimes social introductions in a statement show a poor relationship at THAT point in the relationship; that is, for example, a point of anger or resentment, in what is, otherwise, a good relationship.  Sometimes the incomplete social introduction (ISI) can show a coming divorce, depending upon the context of the statement.  

"Chance" is not introduced as "my dog, Chance", and the "poor relationship" exists, for the subject, in the moment.  "Your dog" confirms it. 

It is, at the moment, a poor relationship because he stinks!   :)


It's interesting to note that she uses two exclamation marks.  

"oh so lovely!!" and "damn dog!!"

There are no other places where she uses two exclamation points.  Here, both suggest a form of sarcasm from frustration of the smell.  

I know the subject and she loves her dog.  It is interesting to see how the context influences the language.  Any statement is an opportunity to learn to "enter into" a statement and understand the subject's thinking, even if it is just at the moment.  


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Sadly I have a relative who only calls his 4 yr old daughter "the girl". Pics on FB are titled the girl at the fair. or the girl on her bike.


Anonymous said...

Sadly I have a relative who only calls his 4 yr old daughter "the girl". Pics on FB are titled the girl at the fair. or the girl on her bike.


Anonymous said...

Serious question: The husband survey going around facebook that posts results such as 'My husband is 57 % awesome".
I find it interesting SA regarding what people write commenting on the "awesome" percentage their husband gets.
One friend's husband got 75 % awesome and she commented "Mike says he should have gotten 100%!"
Another friend's husband got 95% awesome and she commented "Jim should have gotten 100 % awesome! He is the best!" The thing is I believe her since he does look like he is great, he looks great, appears to be a doting husband in fb pics.
How do you tell if people are being honest with these types of comments??? My curiosity has the best of me!

Anonymous said...

I am an american indian and my fiancee/legally husband now, calls me "My squaw, Stacy" now he shortens it to my squaw or THE squaw.... I am not offended since I am an american indian female and calling someone a squaw would be the same as calling someone an irishman, englishman, or chinaman! None are rude or offensive.

Unknown said...

On Facebook, everybody's husband is the greatest, lol! Isn't it amazing that anyone in the world ever cheats or gets divorced based on their Facebook posts!

Imagine the alternative though, if a wife said something like, 'Happy Anniversary to my somewhat adequate husband...he never brings me flowers, or cleans up after himself, and half the time I think he's cheating...but he's still here, and I guess that's something'. We would be like WTH!

I do find it really strange when couples gush back and forth everyday on FB. Things like, 'My amazing husband got me coffee/took me out to dinner', or 'I have the best man, he x, y, z...', etc. Clearly that isn't being shared for his benefit, it's being shared to impress others, or influence them to think their relationship is good. The need to persuade is sensitive in itself.

Unknown said...

Sorry, I got side tracked...

As far as telling the truth from fiction on FB, I guess all the same rules apply. Look for dropped pronouns, possessive pronouns, verb tenses, hyperbole and exaggeration, articles, etc.

Plus, sometimes you just know better ;-)


Unknown said...

What is a fiancé/husband? You're either married or not.

If my husband called me anything like the wife or "squaw" in an anything but loving manner, his behind would be looking for a new tee-pee to live in.

Anonymous said...

Jen, LOL! I agree with everything you wrote!
I am actually convinced that the people who post pics and check-ins on fb 3, 4, 5 times a day are living in an alternate reality. They LIVE for facebook. I notice they literally copy each other's vacations (same place, same type of pics, same fab husband having happy times). They write the same things "Me and my monkey hanging around!" meaning "me and my kid hanging around". They copy each other's "creative parenting" ideas (picnic on the living room floor) complete with pic of the sibling "monkeys" smiling with glee and getting along splendidly at the indoor picnic.
My theory with these types is that their day to day life is pretty drab despite the "never-a-dull moment" series of facebook pics they post. Hubby not too amazing, big ego prob ignores them, they don't really like their kids that much (yep I said it), and between the charity events (yes, every one of them cares desperately about curing cancer) and home improvement projects, and fab vacations there's a big feeling of emptiness inside.
But I still don't really know how to decode the "awesome husband" thing but I guess it's possible there really are some 100 % awesome husbands!

Colleen said...

Speaking of dogs and skunks, I have a true and funny anecdote.

One evening a friend of mine was out walking his Scottish terrier. The dog lifted his leg by a bush, somehow not sensing there was a skunk inside. Before he had time to react, both my friend and his dog were blasted.

He picked up the dog and ran to a nearby 7-11 and shouted "Tomato Juice! Give me tomato juice!" The clerk (who was holding his nose) put a little can of V-8 on the counter. My friend yelled, "I need a case!" The clerk thankfully found a case and my friend threw a couple of twenties on the counter and fled.

He went around to the back of his house, and in the dark gangway, took off all his clothes. He heard his neighbors talking in the adjacent backyard, but he figured he could get himself, his dog, and the case of V-8 up the stairs and through the door without anyone seeing. He had his key out and he started to bolt up the stairs into the house.

Ok, everyone, here comes the funny part...

He had forgotten that earlier that day, he had installed a sensor light in the yard, which lit up anytime there was movement by the back door.

Everything was going as planned until he opened the screen door. All the people in the neighboring backyard who moments earlier had been talking and laughing over a summer evening barbeque suddenly went dead silent.

Off topic: I found a fun way to teach kids some important grammar rules. I HIGHLY recommend the new music video, Word Crimes, by Weird Al Yankovic.


Anonymous said...

Oooh, and I forgot to mention, the most painful FB posts to read are the folks trying to hide clinical depression by saying they feel blessed. "Feeling extremely blessed it is raining today." "Sat down for some quiet time with a warm blanket and the remote. Feeling blessed." "Staying in tonight with my dog and my my goldfish. Blessed."
Why?! Just why? I am not trying to be mean, but who are they trying to convince? Themselves? Others?
OK, thanks for letting me vent. I need to go do a stack of dishes. Feeling very blessed.

Anonymous said...

I have 4 kids, 3 sons and a daughter. One of the nicknames for my daughter is "the girl." It's a term of endearment. It doesn't mean your relative thinks poorly of his daughter.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous said...
I have 4 kids, 3 sons and a daughter. One of the nicknames for my daughter is "the girl." It's a term of endearment. It doesn't mean your relative thinks poorly of his daughter.
July 16, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Remember the "I" principle!

ME said...

^^^^^^^ i love this blog :)

BallBounces said...

A person might say "Googled how to get skunk smell out of your dog" because Google is not going to have information on how to get skunk smell out of my dog specifically. "Your dog" serves as a generic search for information on the subject.

Anonymous said...

@Saint, we have lived together for 4 years and have been engaged 3 years..however the courts say we are legally husband and wife, even though we have not "married" is called common-law.

He calls me "the" and "my" squaw in a loving manner. A term of endearment, if you will.

Growing up my mom called all us girls, "sis"... we are not her sisters but it was a loving term.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the lack of social introduction, in this case, is probably (idk though because obviously I don't know the person) because all of her family and friends on Facebook already know her dogs name. She used the dogs name. I don't think she'd say "my dog Chance" every time she posts about him. "My dog Chance" I think would be for a first time "introduction". Am I way off on this?

Anonymous said...

Snap! You are totally right about the I principle! I have so much to learn! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

What is the "I" principle?

Anonymous said...

I think we know the same people! ;) -Kitt

Anonymous said...

That was supposed to Be anon@6:54. -Kitt

Anonymous said...

OT The discovery of the jawbone of a missing, pregnant Maui woman helped authorities file a murder charge against her ex-boyfriend, a person familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

The find marked a turning point in what started as a missing persons case involving Carly Scott, 27, who disappeared in February while five months pregnant.

Tania Cadogan said...

off topic

Douglas Garland has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Calgary residents Kathy and Alvin Liknes, as well as second-degree murder in the death of the couple's five-year-old grandson, Nathan O'Brien.

The charges come a day after police announced that the search for the family had become a triple murder investigation. Police believe there is enough evidence to say the three are dead, but their bodies have not been recovered.

Garland was arrested early Monday in a field near his home property and escorted to a Calgary police station late Monday night.

He was out on bail on an unrelated charge of identity theft laid last week and police say he broke the conditions of his release by being in the field at night.

He had been considered a "person of interest" by police up until he was charged in the murders of Nathan and the Likneses.

The 54-year-old hung his head and said nothing to the cameras on his way into the Calgary arrest processing unit.

He was arrested early Monday morning near the Airdrie acreage that has been at the centre of the investigation. The acreage belongs to his parents and was the site of police investigation in 1992 that led to charges of drug trafficking and possession of stolen property after Garland was caught making amphetamines.

A document from the Tax Court of Canada indicates Garland was later discovered living under the stolen identity of a 14-year-old car crash victim from Cardston, Alta.

Garland is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

It's been previously reported that Garland has connections to the Liknes family. His sister, Patti Garland, is in a common-law relationship with Alvin Liknes's son.

CBC News has learned that Garland and Alvin Liknes were also involved in a patent dispute and that there was "bad blood" between them because of business dealings that had gone sour.

Court records also show that both Alvin and Kathy Liknes had declared bankruptcy in the past — Alvin in 1994 and Kathy just two years ago. According to records, Alvin Liknes was also involved in several civil lawsuits in the 1980s and early 1990s

Nathan and his grandparents went missing more than two weeks ago from a home in the southwest Calgary community of Parkhill.

They disappeared after an estate sale at the property, which belonged to Kathy and Alvin Liknes. Police said there was evidence​ a violent crime had occurred there.

The couple had recently bought a house in Edmonton and were selling some of their things before they made the move. They had also been planning to spend some time in Mexico.

The offence date listed on charges against Garland is June 30 — the day the three family members were reported missing by Nathan's mother, Jennifer O'Brien.

There has been a massive round-the-clock search for the trio involving more than 200 police officers. Police have also followed up on more than 900 tips from the public.

"There's already been extraordinary search efforts as large as I've seen in this country in a long time," said retired homicide investigator Dave Perry on Monday.

"And now that the bodies haven't been recovered, I think that the search is going to expand and who knows where it's going to take them."

A group of Airdrie residents joined the search efforts at 6 p.m. MT on Tuesday.

Tania Cadogan said...

Organizers say a couple of local mothers wanted to do something to help, hoping to find clues that could lead to the remains of Nathan and his grandparents, and it just spread from there.

"We just feel helpless, we want to do something," said Laura Cameron, one of the organizers of the civilian search. "We've had an overwhelming number of people joining us and supporting us."

The searchers are sharing their maps with the Calgary Police Service and say there are a few areas they plan to target.

Cameron says they have been advised by police to be careful not to tamper with evidence and so are not sharing their search plans publicly so as to keep rogue searchers from potentially damaging clues.

She says the community is having a difficult time believing the three family members are dead.

"Because there weren't bodies that were found, I still just couldn't believe that [Nathan] could be dead.... We just want to keep looking until something tells us to stop looking."

Calgary defence lawyer Balfour Der said murder cases where police have laid charges without locating the bodies are rare, but it does happen.

"It's obviously going to be a case which is based on circumstantial evidence and that's a totally acceptable way to prove a case," he said.

"The problem with circumstantial evidence is that you need enough of the pieces of the puzzle to be able to show the picture. And there can't be any large holes in it."

Calgary police continue to ask for the public's help. The search for evidence will continue this week at the Spyhill Landfill in Calgary where investigators are still sifting through mounds of garbage.

Police will also continue to search an acreage in Airdrie, located north of the city. Rural property owners, including oil companies and businesses, are still being asked to search their properties for anything suspicious.

Before Garland's arrest Monday was announced, the Amber Alert issued when the family disappeared ended.

"However, the bodies of the three victims have not been found and investigators continue to ask people to come forward with any information they may have," said Calgary police in a release.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234, by email at or through Crime Stoppers.

The announcement of the murder charges has been difficult to accept for neighbours and friends.

At Saint Michael Catholic Community church, where Nathan was baptized and his parents attended, the news was devastating.

"My first reaction was tears. I was very sad. I almost cried. But I said, 'The Lord knows better,'" said Rev. Julian Studden.

He agrees that finding words under this circumstance is not easy.

"Just be present for them. We cannot say any words. Our presence speaks louder, and more effectively and more solidly to them."

Tania Cadogan said...

He hasn't spoken to the family since the announcement, but hopes to meet with them Tuesday.

Katt Boulet lives down the street from the Liknes home where the family was last seen. She was one of the people who dropped off flowers and a card at a makeshift memorial in front of the home late Monday.

"I just can't imagine how the O'Briens are holding up these days," she says of Nathan's parents and family. "There's not much else we can do except send our love, our strength, our support."

In an email to The Canadian Press, Teena Prevost, the sister-in-law of Kathy Liknes, said her family is still holding out hope they're alive.

"The Crown prosecutor believes there's sufficient evidence to justify the charges, but for the family members knowing that's the conclusion to police, that doesn't help them in terms of their grieving process," said Alberta Health Services forensic psychologist Patrick Baillie.

He said what stands out in this case is the amount of support family members have received.

"People with young children feel an identity, people with grandparents feel an identity, people who have ever had children sleep over feel an identity and so there's that emotional connection that's made it all the more powerful for people," said Baillie.

A prayer vigil took place in Calgary Tuesday night to remember the family, and organizers released green balloons to "fill the sky with love and prayers."

john said...

People who say the verb"i"while introducing a pronoun are 999.999% "lieng".(Reuters).

Anonymous said...

Really? Then I was wrong about him being right. I thought he was talking about me personalizing it and making it about my daughter. I do call her the girl.

Verbal Kint said...

For anyone who ever has to get rid of the skunk smell from their beloved pet:

Dawn dish liquid (animal safe)
Hydrogen peroxide
Baking soda

It works very well and you most likely have the ingredients already. I found this remedy when my Jesse tried to play with a skunk. She thinks everything is her friend. I'm sure she was pretty excited when she found a new playmate, right up until it sprayed her. Skunk spray is very oily, it leaves that horrible stench on anything your pet touches. Act fast.

BTW, she immediately wanted to go for round two, so keep an eye on your pet. The skunk if gone now. I read once they spray, that place is marked dangerous for them. That's fortunate for us, since it made a home under our deck.

Anonymous said...

What does "parks it" mean? Was running and tried to stop? Depending on the meaning, why is it in present tense? Also, she didn't introduce who Nick is. I assume it's her son. Does he not need an introduction because her post is about the dog? When is an introduction needed, and when is it not needed? I think she didn't need to introduce either, her son or dog, because everyone already knows who they are (or she at least assums so). I'm wondering if I've been wrong on this now though, because it was pointed out that she didn't introduce the dog. I want to make sure I'm understanding this aspect of SA.

Anonymous said...

impulsive said...

The "I" Principle:

So anon who Peter was referring to when he made the comment was actually correct about what he meant