Do men talk as much as women?

Research has found that men are just as talkative as women, that it’s a myth that for every word that Womentalking comes out a man’s mouth, three come out of a woman’s.

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. [Link]

My wife, Malathi, and I also average about 16,000 words a day. That’s a total of 32,000 words — 28,000 from her mouth, 4,000 from mine. Just ask her. She’ll tell you. She’d love to tell you.

When you live with a talkative women, you have to be careful what questions you ask.

Me: "Honey, shall I make some tea?"

Wife: "Sure, but can you make it with Darjeeling tea, not those Lipton bags. I think it tastes better. Did I ever tell you the story of Darjeeling? Darjeeling is in West Bengal. I don’t know if you know this, but the name ‘Darjeeling’ comes from the Tibetan words Dorje, meaning ‘thunderbolt,’ and ling, meaning ‘place,’ which translates to ‘The land of the thunderbolt.’ It was back in 1841 that the British created experimental tea plantations in Darjeeling. Their experiments were successful and …"

Me: "Uh, honey, maybe I should just make coffee instead."

Wife: "I’d like decaf, please. Did you know that a cup of coffee has 80–140 milligrams of caffeine. Well, it actually depends on the type of bean and method of roasting and preparation. Back in the 9th century, when coffee first appeared …"

Me: "Juice. I think I’ll get us some juice."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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