July 6th, 2007

romance, flower

Yakety Yak Don't Talk Back

A stereotype that's all talk.

"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, 'the widespread and highly publicized stereotype about female talkativeness is unfounded,' researchers concluded.

'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."

I think the guy who used to sit behind me at the office can equal that 47,016 words a day. I have never encountered anyone of either sex who loved to talk about his personal business and gossip more than this man. I have heard him repeat the same story about some minor family trauma nine times in one day between phone calls and people he encountered on our floor. That is insufferable.