The present study examines the dichotomy of pronunciation which exists in the linguistics community at a large midwestern university. The variants used by different members of this community were recorded by hidden microphones in Wells Hall. The computer files of MSU were then accessed for personal and academic information on the subjects. When the data were compared in a most objective and unbiased way, the following correlations were unearthed.
The principal difference in pronunciation which bore fruit when compared to personal data was the [hag]/[hɔg] dichotomy. Subjects who used the former variant were seven times more likely to receive 4.0’s in linguistics classes. (This finding corroborated that of Fog and Bog (1986) of MIT and Ritcog (in press) of Boston University.) When carried further, the data revealed that these speakers tended to have IQ’s twice as high as their [hɔg] compatriots. The former group also earned an average of $10,000 more per year and bathed more regularly.
Another finding concerned those who differentiated between [wh] and [w] and those who only availed themselves of [w]. Subjects who differentiated between the sounds (as they rightly should, seeing as how God created the orthography expressly for this purpose) were more likely to marry professional models. In addition, the [wh]/[w] group members had a significantly higher incidence of winning a Nobel Prize. In contrast, the [w] group subjects were twice as likely to have been arrested for indecent exposure in the library and four times more likely to have supported Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
A final aspect of the study examined the relationship of personal characteristics to pronunciation of the specific form nuclear. A dastardly progressive assimilation has stealthily crept into the English language through poor rearing of children, causing many unschooled speakers to distort this form into [nukyulər]. In addition to being unspeakably malodorous, this flagrant pronunciation is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. It is so aesthetically and morally repugnant that the author feels that even the most descriptive linguist would agree. In any case, subjects who used the correct form were judged by their peers to be trustworthy, loyal, cheerful, friendly, and brave. Rascals who employed the incorrect [nukyulər] variant were three times more likely to be direct descendents of Attilla the Hun and seventeen times more likely to have murdered their parents with an axe. In addition, belly button lint was twice as common in this latter group.
The results of this study have clearly shown the hazards of lax parenthood. This laxity has manifested itself in diverse areas such as breastfeeding in public and permitting teenage daughters to view films rated PG-13. Practices such as the aforementioned are devastating the common decency, crumbling the Judeo-
Douglas S. Files
Michigan State University