5000 – 15000.
I wish that were a score. I WIN! Statistically, women use about 3x as many words each day as men do. So, when Patrick comes home having used 4500 words at work, it’s a dangerous situation if we miss-use those remaining 500 words. This post is about 500 words. That’s it, he’s done. As a woman, I have a role in drawing those words out of him. I’m chatting through a minefield if I chose to start a fight with 500 words to go.
That got me thinking about different interpretations of words. Marriage. To men, marriage generally means sexual fulfillment, admiration and an ego boost when they are seen with a beautiful woman on their arm. To a woman, marriage is a promise of affection, companionship and conversation. I am hard pressed to see how 500 words can untangle his misconception!
I checked out a men’s/women’s dictionary:
3. COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n.
a. female…The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one’s partner.
b. male…Scratching out a note before suddenly taking off for a weekend with the boys.
7. FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n.
a. female…An embarrassing by-product of digestion.
b. male…An endless source of entertainment, self-expression, and male bonding.
9. REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n.
a. female…A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
b. male…A device for scanning through all 175 channels every 2 1/2 minutes.
A few of my own:
1. Called my folks:
a. female…At least a 15 minute conversation with my mom and solid recollection of the conversation
b. male…I called when I knew they wouldn’t be available, didn’t leave a message, but trusted caller ID
2. A Date:
a. female…somewhere, anywhere, outside of the house, preferably involving conversation
b. male…ordering take-out
3. Clean up:
a. female…involves a vacuum, a sponge, disinfectant and results in an obvious change of appearance
b. male…move some item from one place to another, perhaps the trashcan
I hope you didn’t detect too much bias in my definitions.
I don’t think there’s much we can do to integrate these two languages. Even professional linguists don’t try to consolidate languages, but instead, painstakingly translate one into another. Slowly, if we’re lucky, our common phrases will seep into the other’s vernacular and we’ll develop our own, “marriage slang,” a hybrid form of communication that the two of us can use at home.
Special care must be taken when talking to or about our spouses in public. Occasions when we are in the presence of others require an extra measure of patience, attentiveness and understanding.
Since we cannot hope to reconcile our language differences, the simple and only solution is to be aware of them and make accommodations for them.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21