It has been a while since a new report was released that declared men and women speak about the same number of words on a daily basis. Contrasting the former, widely accepted myth that men used about 7,000 words and women used about 21,000 words per day, the new finding claimed both sexes use about 16,000 words daily.
What men, outside of those in the oratory field, have 16,000 words’ worth of chat per day? Talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Phil, Paul Harvey and Montel Williams or politicians who blow a lot of hot air, I can see talking that much. But the average guy?
Even on special occasions when a guy is supposed to be more vocal, it would take a lot of words and grunts to reach 16,000.
Take the Super Bowl. That is an event where every male tuned in to the game has something to say – not necessarily intelligent – but something. Yes, even counting his interests in the commercials, his multiple comments may all be three one-syllable word statements. It would take 5,333 instances of “Get me one,” “Ohh looka dat,” “Go for it,” “Man, she’s hot,” “Another beer hon,” “Pass the chips,” “Turn it up,” or “We did it,” to equal 16,000 words.
Who would the average guy be talking to to use that many words? It can’t be another guy. And how many guys can hold a 16,000-word conversation with a woman if he could get in a couple thousand words edgewise?
If a guy associates with even eight different guys on a daily basis, the ritual, “Hey, what’s up?” “Hey, what’s up?” followed by the obligatory, “Nuttin,” “Nuttin,” would only equal 64 words. Without saying another word, all men know that “Nuttin” means: “It’s another day but same routine. I’m trying to make a living, keep the female in my life content, pay my taxes, and hoping I see another wonderful day like today.” So, why and when would the average fella use the other 15,936 words?
Unlike men, women’s daily greetings are way beyond three words. The normal, “Hi, how are you?” is followed by a long detailed deposition: “I am fine. And you look nice today. I love your new haircut and those shoes. I saw them on sale last week, but they were out of my size, and I wanted the strapless ones, anyway. Did you happen to see those? By the way, I got that new leather purse we talked about yesterday. It was on sale too, tee-hee-hee. Oh, and how are you this morning?” Only to have the initial greeter answer every question that she was asked plus share her 70-word experience.
In the interest of maintaining daily domestic peace, the typical male-to-female conversation consisting of repeated “Yes dear,” “I’m sorry,” “You’re right,” “I’m wrong,” “OK,” “Ditto,” and “I promise” can add up to thousands of words.
Granted, the word usage study must have included cell phone conversations. With cell phone usage on the rise, there are some men who talk too darn much on them. Especially when you are standing behind them in McDonald’s while they hold a conversation about their latest PlayStation or are reading to someone the entire menu. Then there are the guys who will hold a cell phone conversation and simultaneously hold another conversation with a person standing next to them. However, those aren’t average guys.
The study did not say if the words men type in e-mails and personal blogs were included in the daily count. Have you ever read any male-produced blogs? Some men can turn a simple, “I went to the store for some bread and juice story” into a script longer than the “Titanic” movie. Some of the stuff men share in blogs is baffling. If you can’t convey it in three words or less or with the proverbial nod of the head or roll of the eyes, it need not be said.
I can’t wait for the next study that claims that while men still may carry fewer photos in their wallets than women, men definitely have more photos on their cell phones. But those aren’t average men, either.
And the photos aren't of their children.