She: Science has now confirmed that whining is the most annoying sound ever.
Z: Whyyy must you saaaay that?
She: Obviously, as a parent you’re not shocked to hear this, but it’s nice to have scientific proof.
Z: How did somebody get funding to do that research? Did they whine for it?
She: Not so much.
Z: Never mind that they must have paid the test subjects really, really well.
Z: Now you’re just sharing your fantasy gift list.
She: Every chance I get. But kids take note, I am sharing my wish list, not whining about it.
Z: As a parent there’s ultimately a genetic payoff for listening to your kids whine and complain, but as a test-study volunteer college student?
She: There aren’t enough iPads in the world to motivate me to sit through a whole day of listening to other people’s kids whine.
Z: This is why no matter how much they make, teachers are the most underpaid people on the planet.
She: According to the story in Time, not only did test subjects have to listen to various annoying sounds and test their tolerance for them, but they had to do math at the same.
Z: Ooh, a test. That could be fun.
She: Whee. Put everyone in their oldest, rattiest underwear and I’d be living out my worst dream ever.
Z: What kind of sadistic, mad scientists thought up this research?
She: It was done by psychologists at SUNY New Paltz.
Z: New Paltz has a sound like whining already. When you’re a scientist at New Paltz, I’m guessing this would seem like an obvious study. New Paltz. New Paltz. New Paltz. It is kind of fun to say. Is it Yiddish?
She: It’s a state university in New York. I googled it.
Z: Ah, so not only were people listening to whining voices, they were listening to whining New York accents.
She: They actually did the tests with foreign languages the subjects didn’t understand. They still found, drumroll please, that whining was annoying.
Z: Sacré bleu!
She: There’s no science to this — yet — but Time also listed the other top most annoying sounds.
Z: I’ll bet nagging was No. 2.
She: Only to your ears, dear. It was actually the vuvuzela, the Emergency Broadcast System, Gilbert Gottfried, nails on a chalkboard, car alarms, dial-up modems, the hum, snoring, cicadas and Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber.
Z: What about the word, Paltz?
She: Not on the list.
Z: A most excellent random list, nonetheless.
She: But as I said, no science to it. The participants, on the other hand, listened to a variety of sounds, including a screeching saw on wood, machine noise, a baby crying, motherese (moms talking baby talk) and whining.
Z: Ooh, I’m cringing with the motherese. Just thinking about it causes me to clench up unmentionable places. Even worse is dads doing motherese.
She: Oooh, is my little Zacky wacky sad? Is he? Is he?
Z: I’ll bet there was a lot of whining about that.
She: Yes, dear.