Whistling! One of the strangest words in the English language. Just me? I don’t know, I always found it an odd word. No idea what it means. What? Oh, right. My third blog is a words blog, I see what you mean. Oh, well, yes, erm, I know what it means. Always have done. And I’m not waffling so I can distract you whilst I check with Google. It’s an imitative word. A word designed to replicate the sound. It’s not an English word, so if you’re worried why your whistle doesn’t sound like ‘whistle’, don’t worry. One whistles by pursing one’s lips and blowing. The air passing by creates turbulence, with the mouth acting as a resonance chamber to produce the sound. If you have your car window open at high speed, you’ll hear a whistling. Same thing. Whistling is a remarkable feat of human cocking about. There’s no evolutionary reason for it, meaning whistling is on par with armpit farts. Proof? In space, no one can hear you whistle. Seriously. One can’t whistle in a vacuum. They tried it on the space shuttle Atlantis. Nope. So this means one of two things. If whistling was evolutionary, Mother Nature has never heard of space or never suspected we’d get there, or, it isn’t a necessity. Doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it? “In space, no one can hear you… whistle.”
Why would you whistle in space? You’d miss instructions. And if you were in trouble, surely you’d just shout. “HELP! SPACE MUTANT! DEAR GOD, TELL MY WIFE I LOVE HER!” And if you’re the kind of person who does it because you’re a happy fellow, I can reliably inform you the rest of the world hates you. Stop it. Nobody likes a whistler. They’re like Morris Dancers. Don’t whistle. It’s highly irritating. Nobody whistles anymore. I very rarely hear it. And when I do, I give the offender a menacing glare. Whistling is dying. And that’s a good thing. But we need to make sure the body is definitely dead. So when you hear a whistle, poke the body with a stick. If it’s dead, wonderful, if not, it’ll shut up because it doesn’t like being poked with a stick.
More men whistle than women, and that’s a good point, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman whistle. Some studies suggest only 10% of all women on Earth can whistle, with the male total being at 90%. Actors believe whistling before a performance is bad luck. Many cultures believe whistling indoors is also bad luck, like putting up an umbrella or letting off a firework. There are professional whistlers on Earth. Hmm. It can be used as a tool among labourers, communication and sport. And there are whistling competitions, the most famous of which is the International Whistlers Convention. Which sounds… lovely.
Of course, in the interest of fairness and balance, I now need to give you wonderful people some benefits of whistling. There aren’t any.
Buccofacial apraxia is the difficulty of carrying out movements of the face on demand, and is the term given to those who can’t whistle. Like me. And I’m glad about that one. Most people aren’t taught how to whistle, they just ‘know’, and they continue in a relentless assault on those of us who can’t, to mock us, for not being as ‘brilliant’ as they are. It’s pathetic. Those of us physically incapable of whistling are not the ones who should be mocked. We should be applauded for being the next step up on the evolutionary ladder.
Never mind dying, whistling is dead. Long live silence.
Can you whistle, readers?
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The Indelible Life of Me
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Hark Around the Words
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