Speaking in Tongues: The Dark Truth Behind an On-Air Meltdown
Last week the world watched and cackled with delight as a reporter's brain went completely haywire live on television. While delivering a post-Grammy summary the young woman's brain completely abandoned the mouth, leaving it to handle the rest of the report on its own. And like a puppy or an incompetent plumber, that mouth got shit everywhere.As many observers have pointed out, for several seconds it looked like the woman was speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues, or glossolalia, is a condition where a speaker emits a bunch of random sounding gibberish, with just enough fluidity and coherence to make it sound like an alien language. It is weird as hell, and has been linked to other weird as hell phenomena, such as hypnosis and bible camps.Knowing that Cracked is the first place people go when crazy crap like this happens, when this news broke we immediately set to the business of farting around, not writing a column about it. Eventually someone volunteered me for the task, I'm told due to my unique qualifications - namely my babbling, near-unintelligible Canadian accent. "It sounds like the noise a raccoon would make while repairing a saxophone," several co-workers have confided in me privately. "Birds won't land when you're nearby."My self confidence thoroughly bruised, I set out to prove my worth by writing the best darn article on glossolalia I could. Rather than read the Wikipedia page on glossolalia, or throw around a few blond jokes like the rest of the lamestream media, I thought that the best way to the bottom of this was by strapping on my old investigating outfit... The kerchief is useful for picking up clues without getting fingerprints on them, and also sets off my jaunty hat quite nicely. ...and hitting the pavement to discuss glossolalia with the real experts. My first stop was at the university where I met Dr. Earnest Tungsprecher, who explained that he was an expert on linguistics. Worried about getting off on the wrong foot I clarified some ground rules..."And I promise that I won't make that cunning linguist joke that's so lame," I said."What cunning linguist joke?" he replied."