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MIT researchers claim they created toughest tongue twister of all time

, Rare Staff

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Try saying “pad kid poured curd pulled cod” ten times fast.

Having a little trouble? Well, don’t get too down on yourself because the MIT researchers who came up with this tongue twister claim that it is the trickiest to date.

From Boston Magazine:

“If anyone can say this [phrase] ten times quickly, they get a prize,” said Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, a psychologist from MIT who specializes in speech errors as a way of understanding normal brain functions, and one of the creators of the mouth-boggling phrase.

On Thursday Shattuck-Hufnagel is presenting her research about the comparison of two types of tongue twisters, including the difficult phrase, at the Acoustical Society of America in San Francisco. The presentation will be based on research conducted with a team from MIT, where scientists recorded the misspoken sounds for terms like “top cop,” and “toy boat,” to see what errors people produced.

The researchers recorded volunteers saying combinations of alternating words that fell into two categories: simple lists of words, such as the “top cop” example, and full-sentence versions of the same sounds with an inversion, such as “the top cop saw a cop top,” according to a statement about the research. After listening to the recordings, the analysts found that there were patterns in the slip-ups when volunteers tried to enunciate certain strings of similar sounding words. Based on that, they tried to induce different types of double onsets, commonly referred to as double sound mistakes by linguists.

This research is primarily meant to determine the connection between the brain’s collection of information and how a person communicates that information. Researchers are already moving to the next stage of research, which will involve putting energy sensors people’s tongues to measure their articulation levels.

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