How to break your tongue

There are many linguistic theories on how the Welsh language developed into an unpronounceable stew of jawbreaking consonants, but the most favored explanation is that after centuries of toothlessness the people of Wales simply gave up on vowels. This explains the difficulty that outsiders have in pronouncing names like “Aberystwyth.”

I won’t suggest the proper way to pronounce “Aberystwth,” but a friend of mine who has a name that is almost as unpronounceable, Mike Puchowicz, has recently begun collaborating with the exercise physiologists at Aberystwyth University. Mike has tried for the last few years to erase all evidence of his connection to the anonymous Twitter feed of Cap Taintbag, but to no avail. Cap Taintbag’s observations, curses, innovations in English, and general insults to the cycling public remain Mike’s greatest and most enduring work. They do not, however, do much to assist his current efforts at getting tenure.

The Aberystwythians and Puchowiczians are very interested in human power, how it is generated, and how long it can be sustained. They have therefore put together a study protocol to advance this investigation, although if they’d asked me I would have suggested a 2-hour survey of Pornhub (you’d learn all you ever need to know about human power and its duration). A link to the study is here, and guess what? You’re invited!

In order to participate, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Ride your bike a bunch
  • Race your bike four times (in an 8-week period)
  • Use a power meter
  • Bear your own risks for nausea, vomiting, cardiac dysfunction, and death

There. I’ve done my part for the advancement of science. Now back to our regular programming.

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3 thoughts on “How to break your tongue”

  1. I have long been a proponent of the Welsh and Hawaiins getting together to sort out an equal distribution of vowels and consonants. It could potentially solve a lot of our worlds bigger language/comprehension issues. I’m not sure how, but you know, trickle up theory and all that, As an aside, my Gran is from Ystrad Mynach. The riding is great if you don’t mind wearing a slicker on the warmer sunny days!

    1. You know how most words, when you spell them backwards, are bizarre sounding and unpronounceable? Welsh is like that forwards, too.

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