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It doesn’t really natter

india Updated: Aug 16, 2011 21:29 IST

Hindustan Times
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The obvious has just been reaffirmed. Yes, girls gossip. At home or work, it is impossible to tone down their incessant, mindless chatter, says the findings of a latest British survey.

Before you fault the survey on reinforcing popular stereotypes, it goes a step further: it informs us that an average female of the human species spends 298 minutes or approximately five hours every day in glib gal talk.

Greater horrors are to follow: not only do women talk, but most of the conversations hover around trivialities like sex, shopping, weight issues, diet and clothes, often plumbing the depths with discussions on cosmetic surgeries or the mother-in-law.

As you might have guessed by now, it is up to the men — the other half of this worthy species — to thwart the imbalance caused by all this fine talking.

Heaven forbid if you find the male of the species in a huddle around the office water cooler, or in street corners, or shop fronts, gratifying their desire for small talk. And a pox on the future of the blessed race if you happen to walk into a popular watering hole and overhear them wasting their time, energy and precious breath bantering about colleagues or sex or food or cars.

With the burden of generating meaningful human thought resting on their shoulders, men maintain a studied silence most of the time and open their mouth only to debate the particulars of particle physics or maybe the hermeneutic consistency of texts.

Behavioural experts, always eager to dampen such exuberant social observations, have, however, long argued that a woman jawing more is a myth that was probably invented in a marriage counsellor’s office, since women are more forthcoming on ‘relationship issues’ where men tend to clam up.

In fact, several studies that count the number of words spoken during the course of the day have proved that men and women fare almost equally, though the inanity being discussed might vary.

But not willing to be robbed of the guilty pleasure of wallowing in stereotypes, we say: let the silly patter continue.