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The word, "Huh?" Appears To Be Universally Understood
Scientific American ^ | 11/16/2013 | Karen Hopkin

Posted on 11/17/2013 7:17:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind

What’s the most universal utterance in languages across the globe?

Male voice: Huh?

Correct!

Male voice: Huh?

That’s right.

Male voice: HUH?

Exactly. Because a new study finds that everybody around the world does indeed say “huh?” The finding is the journal PLOS One. [Mark Dingemanse Francisco Torreira and N. J. Enfield, Is “Huh?” a Universal Word? Conversational Infrastructure and the Convergent Evolution of Linguistic Items]

The researchers were exploring linguistic tools people use to assure fluid communication. In this case, they were looking for an interjection that signals that a listener missed something, and prompts the speaker to repeat or rephrase the original statement. In other words, something that works like the English word “Huh?”

So they eavesdropped on nearly 200 conversations in 10 different tongues, from Italian to Icelandic. And they found that, in language after language, a word that sounds a lot like “huh?” gets the job done. For example, [international huhs]. It’s short and sweet so it’s likely to stop the speaker before the listener gets too lost. And it sounds like a question [more international huhs], so it warrants a response.

The sound appears not to be innate. Babies don’t use it before they say mama. But most five-year-olds are masters of “huh?” No matter where they come from.

(Excerpt) Read more at scientificamerican.com ...


TOPICS: Science; Society
KEYWORDS: language

1 posted on 11/17/2013 7:17:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Huh?


2 posted on 11/17/2013 7:19:25 AM PST by Fzob (Jesus + anything = nothing, Jesus + nothing = everything)
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To: SeekAndFind

Huh!


3 posted on 11/17/2013 7:22:03 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I detest that damn word! To me it make the person saying it sound ignorant.

I taught my children at a very early age to use either ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ when they did not hear what a person said.


4 posted on 11/17/2013 7:22:51 AM PST by TheMom (Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!)
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To: SeekAndFind

5 posted on 11/17/2013 7:23:50 AM PST by dfwgator (Fire Muschamp.)
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To: SeekAndFind

According to our daughter, even our dog says it.


6 posted on 11/17/2013 7:36:02 AM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: SeekAndFind

Que?


7 posted on 11/17/2013 7:39:54 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (We're At That Awkward Stage: It's too late to vote them out, too early to shoot the bastards.)
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To: SeekAndFind
nuqjatlh?
8 posted on 11/17/2013 8:01:52 AM PST by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Right after Huh must be OK.


9 posted on 11/17/2013 8:03:44 AM PST by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
According to our daughter, even our dog says it.

Youtube - Scooby Doo Huh


10 posted on 11/17/2013 8:33:51 AM PST by FreeReign
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To: SeekAndFind

OhKay....


11 posted on 11/17/2013 8:35:41 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: TheMom
"I'm sorry, you're breaking up. Please try again."

I even had a two-year old granddaughter make static noises and squeals at me one time...(8^D)

12 posted on 11/17/2013 8:38:11 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, I guess “Huh” is better than “Duuuh...”


13 posted on 11/17/2013 8:48:58 AM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: Mister Da

Yup!


14 posted on 11/17/2013 9:47:07 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: BenLurkin

http://www.johnspeedie.com/healy/saywhat.wav


15 posted on 11/17/2013 9:50:03 AM PST by ErnBatavia (The 0baMao Experiment: Abject Failure)
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To: TheMom

So does cussing.


16 posted on 11/17/2013 10:15:38 AM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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To: ansel12

Hell yeah!


17 posted on 11/17/2013 2:35:17 PM PST by TheMom (Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!)
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To: TheMom
To me it make the person saying it sound ignorant.

Yes, cussing does that.

18 posted on 11/17/2013 2:54:35 PM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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To: ansel12

Hell yeah!!


19 posted on 11/17/2013 3:13:57 PM PST by TheMom (Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!)
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To: SeekAndFind

"Say 'Huh' Again....I dare you."

20 posted on 11/17/2013 3:18:44 PM PST by dfwgator (Fire Muschamp.)
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To: TheMom
I detest that damn word! To me it make the person saying it sound ignorant.I taught my children at a very early age to use either ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ when they did not hear what a person said.

I can see what you taught your children, your self praise by not having kids say "huh" rings hollow, judging by your unshakable attachment to cussing.

21 posted on 11/17/2013 3:19:30 PM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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To: ansel12

Well gosh darn, didn’t you just shame the heck out of me and put me in my place.

Bless your heart.


22 posted on 11/17/2013 3:43:48 PM PST by TheMom (Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Burns and Schreiber speak the international language:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mHddEKIyzk


23 posted on 11/17/2013 3:47:25 PM PST by RichInOC (Palin 2016: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: TheMom

Your teachings sure come through.


24 posted on 11/17/2013 4:18:07 PM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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To: FreeReign

Ruh roh.


25 posted on 11/17/2013 7:51:03 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin (A trillion here, a trillion there, soon you're NOT talking real money)
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To: TheMom

Well played.


26 posted on 11/17/2013 7:53:42 PM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: ansel12

You got pwn3d. Get over it.


27 posted on 11/17/2013 7:54:10 PM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: SeekAndFind

mwot? wae?


28 posted on 11/17/2013 7:56:53 PM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Lazamataz; TheMom

Lol, you must be joking, she simply revealed the hypocrisy of her earlier complaint against the word, huh.

Now you want to jump in and get some kind of flame war started it seems.


29 posted on 11/17/2013 7:58:05 PM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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To: ansel12; TheMom

Hell and Damn ain’t cussing. Preachers say those two words, all the time.

What IS cussing, is if I called you a f******g ******ole mot********r son of a ****** c*******king ****tard ******slapped f****ole *****-fer-brains *****sack p****y.

Now THAT would be *CUSSING*.

Ya *******r.


30 posted on 11/18/2013 3:26:59 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Lazamataz

Yeah, you just wanted to do one of your flame things, well you did it.


31 posted on 11/18/2013 9:57:33 AM PST by ansel12 ( Democrats-"a party that since antebellum times has been bent on the dishonoring of humanity.)
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