There are some distinct advantages to being a motormouth. Among them are conversational efficiency and, as some research suggests, a general perception that fast-talkers are smarter than their slower-speeched peers.
So, sure, if you count yourself among the world’s fast-talkers, that could be a sign of your intelligence. Or of your impatience. Or of nothing at all.
Or! It could be a sign that you’re from Oregon.
Yes. Oregon. The Beaver State, according to a new analysis of consumer phone calls — placed to businesses across the country and recorded anonymously — is home to the fastest speakers in the nation.
The second-fastest talkers? They’re in Minnesota. The third? In Massachusetts.
The slowest talkers, for their part, can be found in the South: in South Carolina, Louisiana, and — the most laconically languaged state of them all — Mississippi.
To arrive at those state-by-state breakdowns, the analytics firm Marchex used what it calls Call DNA technology — software that analyzes call recordings to determine things like rate of speech, density of speech, hold times, and silences — on a set of calls recorded between 2013 and 2015. Marchex’s analysis includes more than 4 million such calls.
The fastest talkers are in Oregon. The second-fastest are in Minnesota. And the slowest? In Mississippi.
The full ranking of states, from the fastest-talking to the slowest, according to The Atlantic:
8. South Dakota
9. New Hampshire
12. North Dakota
15. Rhode Island
19. New Jersey
20. West Virginia
38. New York
45. New Mexico
46. North Carolina
48. South Carolina
In some sense, Marchex’s findings hew to cultural stereotypes. The fast-talkers are concentrated in the North; the slow-talkers are concentrated in the South.
Speed-speech-y Florida is an outlier whose fast-talking ways can likely be explained by both the state’s high concentration of Spanish speakers and the fact that many of its residents are transplants from faster-talking states.
Are the people in your state fast or slow talkers? Sound off in the comments below!