MIT Researchers Reveal The World's Toughest Tongue Twister!

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According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the toughest tongue twister is 'The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick'. However, if researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are to be believed, there may be a new contender for that coveted spot.

Dr. Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel and her team assert that 'pad kid poured curd pulled cold' is the toughest tongue twister that has ever been concocted. In fact it is so difficult, that when people were asked to repeat it rapidly ten times, they became so tongue-tied that they stopped speaking altogether. The twister revealed at the Fall Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America that was held in San Francisco from December 2nd-6th, was part of a study conducted by Stefanie's team to get some insight into the human brain's speech planning process.

The researcher says that for some reason when certain words are spoken together quickly, people seem to lose control and more often than not, the one sound seems to replace the other. For example try saying toy boat fast a few times and you will soon start pronouncing the words as 'toy boyt'! Similarly, 'top cop' seems to rapidly turns into 'cop cop!'

How the brain processes each tongue twister also seems to depend on if it comprises of a few words or is a full sentence. In the former case, the tongue often ends up saying just the first letter of the first word-like tkop instead 'top cop', while in the case of the latter it sounds like 'tah-kop'. While not sure, they believe it may have something to do with the regular rhythm of a word list as compared to the somewhat irregular timing of a sentence.

The MIT team plan to continue their research by placing tiny transducers on the tongues of volunteers and measuring their articulation to try gain further insight. Meanwhile, we can all drive people around us a little crazy, by constantly repeating a phrase that even the researchers agree makes no sense.

'pad kid poured curd pulled cold'

Resources: Huffingtonpost.com, dailymail.co.uk

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582 Comments
  • GuccizBudWednesday, June 5, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    Don't know about anyone else, but I'm k absolutely astounded that "pad kid poured curd pulled cold" is supposed to not only be harder than "the sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" but the hardest ever, because, while I find the latter to be VERY difficult to say even once (at speed, not slowly), I find the former to not be difficult **at all**. So... am I the only one? Enquiring minds want to know.
    • VenuTuesday, May 28, 2019 at 7:53 pm
      Sixth sheep for me was beautiful
      • oofMonday, May 20, 2019 at 9:03 am
        not that good
        • JimThursday, April 4, 2019 at 7:15 am
          Harder than "toy boat"? I've never once managed to say that ten times quickly.
          • dougTuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm
            try saying "Irish wristwatch" out loud
            • DominicFriday, March 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm
              I love tongue twisters! I sent this link to all my friends;)
              • MadisonTuesday, February 5, 2019 at 6:21 am
                The Pad kid tongue twister was hard after saying it rapidly a few times but the sixth sheep’s sick tongue twister was wayyyyy harder. Definitely.
                • AmariWednesday, January 23, 2019 at 5:32 am
                  That wasn't so hard
                  • CoreyTuesday, October 9, 2018 at 11:07 am
                    Wow!!!!
                    • legomanWednesday, September 12, 2018 at 9:53 am
                      wow. hard.