Have you ever noticed how you're on the phone with someone and they're just lazily going on and on about every single thing that happened to them that day, and the previous week, and then they're trying to remember what it was that guy in line at the movie said, and now — oh God, is he just standing there, listing off what's in his fridge?
Probably you haven't. Because if you live in Minnesota, you know how to get to the damn point and get off the phone.
Phone call efficiency is not one of the things Minnesotans boast about, but that's because we didn't know how lousy everyone else was at communicating. Turns out, Minnesotans talk very, very fast, and then hang up because we said everything we needed to say and have other things to do talk to you later bye.
Minnesota is the second-fastest talking state when we're on the phone, trailing only Oregon, according to Marchex, which studied four million calls consumers made to different businesses over a two-year period. Our second-place finish ranks us just ahead of Massachusetts, Kansas, and neighboring Iowa, which placed fifth.
Overall, northeastern and Midwestern states are verbal speed demons, while states in the South take the longest to get the words out: Of the nine slowest-talking states, only one, New Mexico, is outside the South.
Fast states are getting in a sixth word for every five words said in a slower state.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. In the category of who speaks the most, total, Minnesota ranks second-to-last, meaning we say the second-fewest words when on the phone with a business. (Only Iowans say fewer, though most of their conversations are just numbers followed by the word "bushels.") We think these rankings are organized backward, and Minnesota should consider this another accomplishment, unless you're the kind of person who thinks it's fun to spend all day on the line with Comcast.
New Yorkers rank first for the most words said to businesses, followed by California, New Jersey, Nevada, and Maryland.
And, because Minnesota can only ever rank near the very top or very bottom of any study ever done: The report also says we're the most patient phone users when connecting with a business. We're the least likely callers of all to hang up after a business has put us on hold, clicking off the phone at half the rate of callers from Kentucky, Ohio, or New York.
Marchex doesn't speculate why, but it seems fairly obvious. We know that if they'd just take us off hold, we could quickly explain what we want, get off the phone, and get on with our day.
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