How to analyze a correspondence: The example of Byron and Murray

Andrew Elfenbein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The psycholinguistic study of conversation and perspective-taking offers a critical vantage-point on traditional analysis of personal letters. The correspondence of John Murray and Lord Byron provides a case study in good enough communication that allows business transactions to continue despite significant gaps in common ground and core values. I pay particular attention to strategies of co-reference and to routinized non-response, the tendency of Byron and Murray not to acknowledge significant parts of each other's letters. Good enough communication is an alternative to the transparency and clarity traditionally privileged in studies of the history of business communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Romantic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


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