MY SPORTS CAR IS NOT FUCHSIA
By Nury Vittachi
WOMEN IN ASIA have smaller vocabularies than men but talk more, scientists have discovered. Yet females have a much larger choice of words in certain areas, such as in the description of colours, boffins say.
Well, hel-lo, scientists. Welcome to Planet Earth.
Honestly, you have to feel sorry for these people. They spend years finding out what the rest of us already know.
I mean, take the business about colours. A friend of mine decided to buy a sports car recently. “I think I’ll get a red one,” he said.
“But what shade of red?” his wife asked. “Blush? Brick? Cerise? Fuchsia? Cherry? Russet? Claret? Crimson? Salmon? Ruby? Scarlet? Vermilion?”
We could hear her continuing to identify sub-categories of red as we left the flat and travelled 20 floors down in the elevator.
These discoveries appeared after a team of male scientists spent months analyzing speech patterns. (It apparently never occurred to them to use the time-saving but rather risky technique of Talking to a Woman). It’s a subject I’ve discussed before, but let’s revisit the main findings.
Discovery one: Men and women use entirely different words to describe the same thing.
Example: words for the lower midriff.
If you are a woman, you have an “abdomen” or a “tummy”.
If you are a man, you have a “belly” or a “gut”.
To test this hypothesis, I re-watched my entire library of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Amazing to relate, Arnie never once said: “Damn. They got me in the abdomen.” Or “He’s still alive—I feel it in my tum-tum.”
The aerobics teacher on my wife’s exercise videos spoke endlessly about “abdominal scrunches” but never once said, “Belly in. Belly out. C’mon, you can do it. Let me see you thrust those bellies around.”
Discovery two: Girls are better are forming complex sentences than boys.
I observed a little girl making a chocolate spread sandwich and emerging from the kitchen to make the following speech: “Mummy sayth I’m a vewy good lickle girl ‘cos I know how to make myself a samwidge and I know how to clean up the kitchen afterwardth and I’m nearly five and a half and this is my dolly who is called Emma and she’s gonna help me eat the samwidge.”
Before she had finished speaking, the sandwich in question had been summarily inhaled by a small boy belonging to a visitor. The only sounds he had made during his visit were preternaturally loud expulsions of air from various locations on his person.
Discovery three: Men’s brains are wired for systematic recall (that means they can remember lists of facts) while women’s are wired for empathetic recall (that means they can remember periods of heightened emotion).
Somehow, Mother Nature knew that males would bond by swapping statistics about sports while females would exchange opinions about relationships.
Guys, try starting a conversation with “Let’s talk about our feelings” and watch your buddies fight to abandon the scene. I don’t need scientists to tell me this. I have a gut feeling about it.
And I don’t mean a tum-tum feeling.
Tomorrow: The revolutionary new form of English Asians use