Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tongue-Twisters? Brain-Builders!

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Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...Image via Wikipediaabout brain-scanning (fMRI)technology.Tongue-twisters provide an entertaining way for us to refine and strengthen our elocution. They are also used therapeutically by speech pathologists and others [remember Bertie and Lionel in "The King's Speech"?] help overcome a variety of speech impediments, including the most troubling one of all: a lack of self-confidence.

Tongue-twisters are not childish, and they are not merely speech exercises. They are certified (*by some organization which does not currently exist, but which should be formed) brain-builders. In speaking them, your mind must clearly identify each word and its proper pronunciation, and differentiate it from the rest of the  words. This does several things:

1) It forces the mind to ascribe some meaning or sense to the riddle. It pushes the imagination and creativity;

2) It increases the ability to focus because of the inherent need for precision;

3) It improves visual discernment and reading skills;

4) It develops a better bridge between the speaking function and the reading or listening/repeating functions. It's a neural path-maker; and

5) The more that you engage in this entertaining exercise, the better you become at it... not just in terms of your ability to rapidly recite the ones you've already practiced, but the speed with which you are able to master newer, longer and more challenging ones.

Perhaps, my fellow (and lady) Braintenancers, we might try a few of these. Try them alone. Observe your improvement. Try them out on your unsuspecting friends as a way to break up the workday. Forward this article (with my compliments) to everyone whom you feel needs a bit of a creative distraction and a quick brain tune-up!

Here are a few from me to you [courtesy of] and several other miscellaneous sources:


Amidst the mists and coldest frosts,
With stoutest wrists and loudest boasts,
He thrusts his fist against the posts
And still insists he sees the ghosts.

Are our oars oak?

Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.


Betty and Bob brought back blue balloons from the big bazaar.

Betty better butter Brad's bread.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
"But," she said, "this butter's bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter -
That would make my batter better."
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she baked it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter.
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

A big black bug bit a big black bear, made the big black bear bleed blood.

A bitter biting bittern
Bit a better brother bittern,
And the bitter better bittern
Bit the bitter biter back.
And the bitter bittern, bitten,
By the better bitten bittern,
Said: "I'm a bitter biter bit, alack!"

Black bug's blood.

The blue bluebird blinks.

The bootblack bought the black boot back.

A box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits.

Brad's big black bath brush broke.


Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie?

Cedar shingles should be shaved and saved.

A cheap ship trip.

Chop shops stock chops.

Comical economists.

Cows graze in groves on grass which grows in grooves in groves.

Crisp crusts crackle crunchily.

The crow flew over the river with a lump of raw liver.


Don't pamper damp scamp tramps that camp under ramp lamps.

A dozen double damask dinner napkins.

Draw drowsy ducks and drakes.


Ed had edited it.

The epitome of femininity.


Fat frogs flying past fast.

A fat thrush flies through thick fog.

Flash message!

Flee from fog to fight flu fast!

Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.

Freshly fried flying fish, freshly fried flesh.

Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks.


Enjoy these superb supplemental mental mettle maintainers. See you soon.

Douglas E. Castle

p.s. Please follow us on Twitter. We have a fine folio of fabulous facts, exercises and commentary... just visit the Twitterlinks Hubspot Blog and choose as many nifty Twitter feeds as you'd like to follow.

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