He was mentioned as not being very talkative, but I found him loquacious. I mentioned the disparity to him.
“Well.” He shrugged. “I don’t talk much around my wife and family, or her friends.”
He turned his beer bottle by its neck. “I read a 2014 study about the number of words men and women use in a day. They always used to say that women talk more than men, but this study showed that men and women speak the same amount on average, about sixteen thousand words a day. Most of us filter it out. I talk more at work than at home because they filter more of my words out at home.”
“How do you do that? I mean, how do you figure something like that out?”
“Well, it’s all rough. There are a lot of factors. I set up a spreadsheet to figure out the average. I can show you on my phone.”
“Okay.” He laughed. “No problem. I understand. I’ll give you the executive summary for an average day, quote, unquote.
“I work nine hours a day. Monday through Friday, of course, with holidays off, all that. With commuting, I’m gone about eleven hours a day. I sleep about seven. That’s eighteen hours. So I’m awake and at home about six hours a day.
“Since I’m awake about seventeen hours a day, I decided that I average about nine hundred forty words an hour. I decided to call it a thousand. So I spoke about six thousand words a day at home. I figured that they hear about half of what I say. Three thousand words. They pay attention to about fifteen hundred. So, I’ve reduced what I speak at home to about a thousand words.”
“You speak a thousand words in six hours?”
“But don’t the same rates hold? If you’re saying a thousand words, aren’t they hearing just half of those, and so on?”
“Oh, no.” He grinned. “Now, because I don’t talk much at home, they pay more attention to when I do.”
“That’s all pretty cynical, isn’t it?”
“Cynical? Or honest?” His grin turned rueful and his gaze turned inward. “Truthfully, I think they still pay attention to about half of what I say at home, if I’m honest. I think I’d rather be talking more and ignored, but I see them tune me out when I open my mouth.”
Shrugging, he lifted his beer bottle toward his mouth. “It is what it is.”