So there you have it: Each individual feature of your grumpy face has evolved specifically to make you look more badass. Well, not you. You look like a constipated baby. But other people look super tough.
We Call Our Parents "Mama" And "Dada" Because They're The Easiest "Words" To Say
Unless you've royally screwed up and your baby's first words are "I pwead the fifth," they were probably either "mama," or "dada." And oddly enough, those words sound very similar in every single language, all across the globe. American and European children usually go with "mama" and "papa," Chinese babies prefer "mama" and "baba," while Turkish kids go with "ana" and "baba." You're probably wondering how this is even possible. The answer, of course, is ancient aliens.
Our true Mama and Dada.
Actually, linguistics pioneer Roman Jakobson solved this peculiar phenomenon decades ago. He theorized that babies aren't simply hopelessly unoriginal, but rather desperately trying to get a grip on this whole "articulation" thing. This process mainly involves a buttload of gibberish, but Jakobson discovered that there's a technical side to it as well. Speech sounds are acquired in a specific order, based on their complexity.
This means that, while enunciations which require all sorts of fancy vocal acrobatics, like r and w, are learned relatively late, mmm is the result of an infant seeing what happens when they fire off their vocal cords while keeping their trap shut. Doing the same thing with their mouth wide open results in ah. Getting from m to p requires only the addition of a small puff of air.
If your baby's first word is "fuck," they're a damn prodigy.
So because babies are lazy little idiots, the first sounds they begin repeating are "mama" and "papa," and emotional parents adopt those as their loving nicknames. Also because they're lazy little idiots. We're all lazy little idiots, when you get right down to it.
When he's not busy keeping from going extinct, Guidodo is on Facebook. Bayfman writes about science at night and teaches it in the day. You can email him here.
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