I Wish Those Nuns Had Never Taught Me to Enunciate

I never was, and never will be, a Don Juan.

Growing up, I was always nervous around girls. I just blamed it on my looks and/or my awkwardness. As a result, I did my best to avoid them, and they seemed quite happy with my decision.

However, on those rare occasions when a girl would talk to me, I always made sure to talk clearly so that I wouldn’t have to repeat myself, which would have extended the conversation.

I can thank the nuns I had for teachers during my first eight years of schooling.  They drilled into me the importance of speaking clearly.

Now as it turns out, it may not have been my looks or my awkwardness that turned off the girls, it was my near-perfect diction.

Scientists with the American Institute of Physics say males who speak less clearly (or mumble) tend to be more attractive to the opposite sex because women see it as a sign of masculinity. Conversely, men find precise pronunciation alluring because it signifies femininity.

Researchers say the findings, published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, back evolutionary theories.

“From a sexual selection standpoint, males with traits that are slightly more masculine than average are typically preferred, which in this context would make males with less clear speech more attractive,” says study co-author Dr. Daniel Stehr from the University of California-Irvine in a media release.

Hollywood heartthrob Marlon Brando had the nickname “Mr. Mumbles” bestowed on him by his “Guys and Dolls” co-star Frank Sinatra. The Oscar-winning legend famously put cotton wool in his mouth while playing Don Corleone in “The Godfather” to make himself even less intelligible.

So I am going to blame my non-Don Juan status on the nuns. But perhaps they knew this all along, and purposely taught all the boys how to speak clearly so there wouldn’t be any shenanigans between the boys and the girls.

I just think back to high school and what I could have done with this information. I would be going around the hallways mumbling to every girl I met. Although it could backfire if they still found me unattractive. At that point, I would have to face the cold hard facts that I was not, and never would be, a ladies’ man and that the issue really was my looks.

So next time a guy speaks up in one of my classes, but he just mumbles an answer, I won’t ask him what he just said. I’ll just nod knowingly and move on to the next person.


P.S. I will have to disagree with one part of the study’s findings. Despite the nuns’ perfect enunciation, I never found myself attracted to them…

*image from Pinterest


109 thoughts on “I Wish Those Nuns Had Never Taught Me to Enunciate

  1. Oh gosh! Ummm….yeah, I will say that Brad has better enunciation than I do, so what does that say? Hmmm… but men do tend to mumble when they don’t want women to hear what they said!

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      1. Yikes! Maybe you better sleep in boat. And maybe you better get Brad outside with a shovel and some sandbags.

        My thoughts will be with you and your family during tomorrow’s diluvian weather.

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      2. Thanks Tippy. For the 16 years that we have lived here our basement has never got water in it. The previous owners had told us it was a dry basement and their words have proven true. Hopefully it stays true!
        “Diluvian”?? A fancy word for wet? 😄

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      3. Good, but have you ever had 8 inches of rain in one day, before? That’s nearly twice the precipitation we get in one year.

        Diluvian is a fancy word for, start building a boat.

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      4. No, we haven’t, soooo we are holding our breath. Though we do get more than 8 inches of rain in a whole year! You do live in the desert, don’t you. 🙂

        Haha! I think its a little too late to start building the boat, we don’t have the wood.

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      5. The rain stopped. Looks like the weatheman was wrong. They changed it now to say that we may get quarter inch of rain overnight but thats it. That is good being that my gold car doesn’t want to have to float home!

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      6. Fortunately I don’t bave far to go! I was glad that the rain had at least stopped. Thanks! If we do end up getting a lot more and its real bad by the time I have to leave, my hero Bard will come on his white horse. 😉

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  2. Nope I never date a person who doesn’t enunciate or mumbles- I barely understand anything as it is I don’t need that kind of stress in my life lol. But maybe that’s just me!

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  3. Oh my, I remember the nuns and their enunciation pointers! I totally disagree that mumbling is macho. I would much rather have a man speak clearly because that leads me to believe he is actually wanting a conversation and not blowing me off!

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  4. “my painful childhood recollections” great source. I dig into that reference book myself from time to time. Through high school, I had a fairly significant speech impediment. That apparently didn’t qualify on the heartthrob meter. I was clearly in the loser-camp.

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  5. I have a naturally quiet voice, so don’t need to mumble to avoid anyone knowing what I’m saying. But I always appreciated it when a girl clearly enunciated ‘get lost’ – it removed any possible doubt.

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  6. I find this interesting because one of the things that totally turns me off from my husband (shhh) is when he mumbles or takes forever to link/finish a sentence. LOL… I’m always chomping at the bit trying to get it out of him … but maybe that’s not his fault.. perhaps I’m the annoying impatient one…. lol…

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  7. For a moment, I was pinching myself and asking, “Is this really true?” Then I realized I’m reading another researched-based post from the award-winning Borden’s Blather. Hmm, I can’t blame the nuns for anything since I attended public school, but sometimes I might sound like a cowboy from Montana.

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