I like how much easier it has gotten for me to read novellas. Yay for ebooks, because I never read Asimov's.
I thought this highly polished story was a perfect example of how to work through one's own expectations. At first, our viewpoint character arrives on the planet Christmas, expecting pretty much what people told her. She got invited because she is the only female xenolinguist available, and it appears that the women have a second language that the men don't use.
She does all the things a sophomore expert does -- starts figuring things out, falls for a local, gets squashed by her boss, the usual. The twist is when she starts using her linguistic skills to tease out the cultural differences between what she has and expects, and what is actually going on.
I spotted the twist coming, but that didn't ruin my enjoyment watching her figure out what was going on.
Read if: You like watching people have to re-evaluate their assumptions, your are having a bad week with your boss.
Skip if: Linguistics scare you - you don't have to understand the details, but they are a big part of the story. You were hoping for a full book.