Is this MIT tongue twister the world’s toughest?

mouth tongue lips teeth
Try saying the MIT tongue twister 10 times fast!
Credit: Getty Images

Forget Sally and her seashells or Peter and his pickled peppers. 

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have come up with the trickiest tongue twister yet: pad kid poured curd pulled cod.

Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel, a psychologist from MIT, studies speech errors as a way of understanding normal brain function. On Thursday she will present the findings of a study, including the tongue twister, to the Acoustical Society of America’s annual meeting in San Francisco, according to a news release from the meeting’s organizers.

Shattuck-Hufnagel, along with a team from MIT and other researchers from across the county, conducted a study to determine whether they could induce different types of double onsets with different types of tongue twisters.

During the study, researchers recorded volunteers saying combinations of alternating words. One group of words turned out to be so difficult that the volunteers couldn’t even get through it.

Shattuck-Hufnagel said that when volunteers tried saying “pad kid poured curd pulled cod,” some of them stopped talking altogether.

“If anyone can say this [phrase] 10 times quickly, they get a prize,” she said in a statement.

Shattuck-Hufnagel’s presentation, ”A Comparison of Speech Errors Elicited by Sentences and Alternating Repetitive Tongue Twisters,” was scheduled to take place Thursday morning.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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