Thursday, July 30, 2009

Geekspeak I: Gender & Vocabulary

Last week I finished reading Geekspeak: A Guide to Answering the Unanswerable, Making Sense of the Insensible, and Solving the Unsolvable — or How Life + Mathematics = Happiness. This is good summer reading because the chapters are short and comprehensible. This is Science Lite. The math is Xtra Lite. And much of the content is fun.

A database of over 100 million words was created from recordings of conversations taken by researchers in the 1990s. The researchers found out that "there are certain words that act as fingerprints, showing that a conversation is between two men, or between two women." These fingerprints are the three words most frequently used by men talking to other men or women talking to other women.


When two women speak to each other, the three words that they say most often are:
she
her
said

And when two men speak to each other, the three words that they say most often are:
fucking
er
the
Nuff said?

By the way, read chapter one, "Scrabbling for Words," to learn a quick method to determine the number of words in your personal vocabulary.
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1 comment:

  1. Yep. That sounds about right, Andree, especially the men's three...lol!

    ReplyDelete

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