Saturday, July 07, 2007

Do women talk more than men?

Just interrupting the party briefly because I came across this fascinating study yesterday from Matthias Mehl, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona. They used an electronically activated recorder to measure the conversations of their subjects (all students) and found that women spoke a daily average of 16,215 words compared to an average 15,699 words for men. But the bit that gobsmacked me?

“The most talkative man used 47,000 words in a day while the least chose his words carefully and only said 500.”

Now… say the average adult is awake for 16 hours a day (allowing 8 for sleep). So our Ms Average said 1013 words an hour, or about 17 words a minute. Our Mr Talkative said just under 3,000 words an hour or 49 words a minute. Even if he spoke quickly (say at the rate of 100 words a minute), this meant he spent over half his day talking. So… when did he do any work? Did he actually listen to anyone? And our Mr Taciturn said 31 words an hour, or an average half a word a minute. Wonder if he was the strong, silent type (cough) or whether he just spent his whole day in the library? I think I have a lightbulb pinging.

Other news: am managing to cut down the painkillers, so hopefully this means the antibiotics are working. PR this week is going to be ace as the Norwich Evening News (our excellent local paper) is running a feature on the Disasters book: and they're using a pic that's very dear to my heart. One that appeared in Norwich: Street by Street as well: my children standing by the flood marker in New Mills Yard. Except the ed wanted to know how old the childen were at the time and how tall they were. In feet and inches. Photo was easy - date of computer file. Height... where were the height charts? Finally located them - and they were in metric. Quick bit of conversion, and I think two children are going to be taking a copy of the paper to school next week. (Well, you have to get some benefits from having a workaholic writer mum.) But yesterday was a day of interruptions, and today I am shutting my office door and working.

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