See if you can get your laughing tackle around what psychologists believe is the toughest tongue twister ever.
Here it comes…
“Pad kid poured curd pulled cold.”
The mouthful was created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is reckoned to blow the old “She sells seashells” and “Peter pipers” clean out the water when one repeats it quickly ten times.
Psychologist Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel is one of the creators of the phrase and specialises in speech errors as a way of understanding brain functions. She presented the group’s findings at the Acoustical Society of America in San Francisco last week.
But just why are some phrases so much harder to say than others?
As The Week puts it: “Researchers say tongue twisters share certain qualities that the human brain and mouth tend to reject. For example, they often contain a quick string of similar but distinct phonemes, which are the smallest linguistic unit (like "s" or "sh"). Inversions, such as "the top cop saw a cop top," also prove tricky.”
“If anyone can say this [phrase] ten times quickly, they get a prize,” Shattuck-Hufnagel told Boston Magazine.
She adds it is even more difficult because it is nonsensical, explaining to the BBC: “In a jumbled up list of words you often get people trying to say two different sounds at the beginning of the words at the same time… which very seldom happens when you are trying to say a sentence [that makes sense].”