Men and women talk equally as much, with only subjects ranging

Posted Jul 5, 2007 by Paul Wallis

A US study has actually counted the words in a research project to determine gender verbosity. Average usage was about 15-16,000 words, women getting the higher average, barely. The most talkative male used 47,000 words, the least a bit over 500.
The urban myth is now definitely a myth, however. The subjects were college students, studied over a 17 hour waking period range recorded over 30 second samples during the period. Broadcast speed is traditionally 120 words a minute, or two a second. From these findings we may assume that some people literally never do shut up.
Subject ranges fitted a terribly banal profile of men talking about technology and women about fashions, and the other standard gender related topics. That either means the subjects of the test were horrifyingly normal, or that they’re not particularly original conversationalists. One of the more interesting methods of evaluating language usage is how long it takes someone to say what they mean.
Verbosity in some cases can be considered a disease. It is infectious, “language is a virus”, and like many diseases can be inflicted on people against their will.
Perhaps this study will be the beginning of finding a cure.