Why repetition is at the heart of confirmation strategies in conversation design

This post is part of “Words go here,” a series about the role of language design in product design.

New to the gym, I’ve got repetition on the brain lately — as in “reps,” the no-pain-no-gain kind. But being a conversation designer and linguist, I more often find myself thinking about repetition in language than at the lat pulldown machine.

Here’s an example of repetition in a mini-dialog:

A: Joe’s a waiter, but he paints on the side.

B: Oh, what kind of pictures does he paint?

A: Pictures?! He paints houses.

The verb “paint” is repeated twice, and…

James Giangola

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