You see, instead of distracting the listener it is now a proven fact that ... err ... verbal stumbles actually help. The researchers made volunteers listen to completely fluent sentences. Nobody could remember a single word. Then they inserted a whole bundle of hesitations and let them hear it all again. Guess what - their guinea pigs could only recall details provided there were lots of disfluencies which, apparently, force the brain to pay attention.
Mind you, that probably depends on the gender of the brain. And now I am about to tread on very dangerous ground. You see another bunch of researchers at the same university have just published details of a project that claims there are far more clever men than women. If you take the top two per cent of brilliant people in Britain today, then twice as many of them will be male. Sucks boo, it seems, to anyone in a skirt.
This wasn't just a random exercise. They looked at the respective intelligence of two and a half thousand brothers and sisters. Everyone got tested on science, math, English and mechanical ability. And the chaps in trousers triumphed. The theory is that women don't need to be clever to reproduce, but men use their heads as a way of making themselves more attractive.
Naturally I don't go along with any of this sexist twaddle, and for two good reasons: Firstly, the President of Harvard University was recently forced to quit after suggesting that women were naturally bad at science. And secondly, as for this British research -- men may emerge as the cleverest two per cent. But they also come rock bottom as the most stupid two per cent. You've got to believe it. The research team was all-male.
by Ed Boyle