Women have gift of the gab over chatterbox men

Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:48am EST
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By Madeleine Cowley

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Women communicate better than men and actually talk less, researchers said Friday.

Men speak more words than women in a day, but have a weaker command of language in social situations, use the same words repeatedly and pay unconvincing compliments, British researchers said after studying how men and women communicate.

Manchester University researchers found that when conversation centered on serious issues such as current affairs men and women used similar language, but they differed widely when it came to chit-chat in social situations.

The women in the research commissioned by British female-friendly insurance firm Sheilas' Wheels had superior communication skills and used a wider variety of words in social situations, while men struggled with their command of language.

"It is men who are more likely to talk for the sake of talking when engaged in social chit-chat by recycling their words with ritualistic and redundant language that doesn't contain new information," Manchester University researcher Geoffrey Beattie said.

The team of researchers carried recording devices over a one week period in order to transcribe 50 conversations, which were split between men and women in serious and social conversations.

Each conversation was given to five volunteers who read five different versions with every fifth word removed and were asked to guess the missing word.

Men used a few simple words in social situations and the limited variety of their vocabulary became even more marked when it came to paying compliments, researchers said.   Continued...

<p>City workers make phone calls outside the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square in the City of London at lunchtime October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>