Sexy "th"

Duane Campbell dcamp911 at JUNO.COM
Sat Nov 9 03:52:56 UTC 2002

There is a phenomenon I have noticed for years, sort out of the corner of
my mind.

Most people form the "th" sounds by placing the tip of the tongue against
the back of the teeth. As I talk through it, it can be the upper teeth or
the upper and lower teeth together. Occasionally, though, I notice people
making the sound by extending the tongue beyond the teeth, sticking it
out slightly, visibly.

Here's the MCP part. I have noticed this only in women, and particularly
attractive women, more particularly women who have an investment in their
attractiveness. Perhaps it is selective observation -- I may look more
closely at attractive women. In fact, I know I do. But I have never
observed this in men. The physical pronunciation characteristics, that
is, not the part about looking at attractive women.

In fact, I think I noticed this first in beauty contest winners being
interviewed, and I think there may be a higher incidence in this unique
cohort. Watch them say, "Thank you" (which they say a lot). The tongue
very often protrudes.

Is this manner of pronouncing the "TH' sounds specific to women? Has
anyone observed it in men?


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