Friday, May 11, 2018


An acquaintance with several academic degrees proposed to us with straight face that women have a genetic trait that makes them talk, talk and talk. They cannot control it. At first, I thought he was kidding, but no. I suggested to him that “modern young women, and some not so young, are not the deferring damsels of past generations. Pick your audiences carefully when you expound on this theory, pal, or you might suffer severe consequences. Perhaps ending up speaking with a far higher pitch to your voice.”

I know a broadcaster, poised and smart, succumbed to impatience with a woman driver swerving on the highway in front of him while talking on her cell phone. Lowering a window he bellowed: “Get off the (bleep) phone, lady!” This time the woman did not talk but replied with the universal one finger salute.

My wife reminds me that men and women communicate in different ways. Men in general talk to the point, few words, key substance. Women, on the other hand, add detail at every turn of phrase. Is one better than the other? Not necessarily. The period of time involved defines the best approach. If the building is on fire we don't need to know the make-up of combustible materials in the rooms, nor what color they were, or when they were purchased. The priority, in this case, is spreading the word to one and all about immediate danger. Later on though we do need to have detail after detail in order to set the cause, fix blame and establish procedures to avoid repetition of disaster.

It's not just women who are doing the talking. Men are into the act as well as teenagers who have turned it into an art form.

Maybe Watson shouldn't have answered the call.

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