Really? I like talking on the phone too.
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From The Baltimore Sun
By Frank D. Roylance
The Danes have a saying for it: "The North Sea will sooner be found wanting in water than a woman at a loss for words." The Japanese say, "When there are women and geese, there's noise."
There's lots of folklore, much of it propagated by men. But is there any truth to the notion that women talk more than men?
In a brief article today in the journal Science, researchers from the Universities of Texas and Arizona conclude that "the widespread and highly publicized stereotype about female talkativeness is unfounded."
A collection of six studies involving nearly 400 people - most of them U.S. and Mexican psychology students fitted with microphones and recorders for up to 10 days - found no significant gender difference in the number of words they uttered.
"Both men and women on average spoke about 16,000 words per day," said James W. Pennebaker, professor and chairman of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
In some of the campus groups studied, women did talk more than men. But in others, the men out-yakked the women. One of the talkers uttered a mere 695 words per day, while the most insufferable ran on for a staggering 47,016 words. That's nearly 2,800 words per hour for 17 waking hours.
First of all, the Danes and Japanese are known most for Hamlet and samurai. Both of whom are not exactly known for their wistful speechifying. So, let’s sideline any of their ancient axioms unless they pertain to melancholy princes or fearsome swordsmen.
We found another source reporting this story. It appears that the official word count averages were 16,215 and 15,669 for women and men, respectively. The difference was 546. That ain't a whole lotta words.
Where has this perception come from? Is it because the ‘ideal’ man is a taciturn statue who is no talk and all action? Is this because men can talk for hours about speakers (and their accompanying tweeters), baseball, stocks and miter cuts but ‘clam’ up when the intimate issues arise? Is that even true any more? Aren’t dudes allowed to talk about hopes and dreams now? Aren’t women supposed to be talking about investment strategy and fuel-injected engines?
The numbers that had been in circulation for 15 years had been 20,000 words per day for women and 7,000 for men. 15 years ago we didn’t have text messaging, so that could come into play. “IDK? My BFF Jill?”
The best line of the accompanying article is last:
He also allows that the 17- to 29-year-olds whose language he recorded may not be typical. "There might be something special about people that age," he said.
"It's quite possible, after that [their college years], that guys run out of things to say, and women continue talking."
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