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MIT Psychologists Create Toughest Tongue Twister


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The old saying “Sally sold seashells by the seashore” has nothing on a tongue twister created by researchers at MIT. The verbal puzzle, “pad kid poured curd pulled cod,” tripped up test subjects who tried to spit out so much, that psychologists believe it could be the toughest one there is to date.


“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.



Got like 2.5 times on normal-ish speed

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The longest Dutch word actually in the dictionary is "meervoudigepersoonlijkheidsstoornis" (multiple persona disorder) and the longest correct Dutch word is "kindercarnavalsoptochtvoorbereidingswerkzaamhedencomit?leden" [note: the blank is filled in by the board software, it's one word] (members of the committee for preparational works of a children's Mardi Gras parade). Both are a result of the fact that many Germanic languages string words together, instead of leaving in the blanks. It's "sports car" and "car racing" in English, but "sportwagen" and "autoracen" in Dutch.


It makes Dutch a language full of tongue twisters and puzzling words for people learning the language, because it's difficult to immediately figure out where to split the words to find their meaning, if you aren't completely familiar with the words.

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