Weird Statistics & Facts: On Speech

Anthropologist Ray Birdwhistell estimated that the average person speaks words for a total of about 10-11 minutes per day.
He also estimated that the average sentence takes 2.5 seconds.

Can that be right?! If we are at work from 9am-6pm or whatever your work hours are, and on top of that have social interactions after work, or family contact… could you really just talk for 10-11 minutes of your day?! I think I talk more than that during my lunch-break alone – and I’m not even a very chatty person. hmm I wonder what constitutes as an "average person" in his study!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 18:06:58

    Interesting statistic, that does seem odd.  So does that mean a lecturer, or call centre worker is not an average person?!  I think that may be right for me roughly, on my 9-6 (or frequently more)  as a large amount of talking is done through e-mail and the like. 


  2. L1
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 00:05:41

    Yeh I have a strong feeling that statistic cannot be right.But really? you think that figure may be accurate for you? interesting! maybe I shouldn’t dismiss this figure so quickly! I suppose we all have chattier days than others though. I’m pretty sure I once went a day without even reaching 10-11minutes of speech/day.. and my record so far is probably chatting for like 7 hours straight (though admittedly it wasnt just me talking the whole time).hmm the importance of speech.. I dunno. Animals seem to do pretty ok without it as long as they have some communication methods. In any case, I think the most important thing is not so much speaking for ages every day – afterall, it’s quality not quantity.. Having human contact (which is kinda essential to everyone I think for feeling happy and fulfilled) can be verbal or not. Non-verbal contact could come in many forms, from emails to texts, to msn, to just spending time with someone without speaking…


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