Keep Dame Judi Dench off poetry recitals

Sun, 19 Jan 97 12:34:36 GMT

In article <5b91g3$> "Ron
Kephart" writes:

> Our Northamerican folk categories do not reflect an underlying biological
> reality, and the continued insistence that they do will insure that
> differences in human social and cultural behavior (such as performance
> on "IQ" tests) will continue to be mistakenly attributed to biological
> differences, as in The Bell Curve, etc.

Ron, when I listen to the radio, I cannot usually distinguish nerdy
White males from Asian males (provided English is their native tongue), while
I can usually distinguish the Negro (male and female) from everybody else.
Apart from speed of delivery or content, it's the undifferentiated
"mush" of Negro speech which I find distinctive, arising from a lack of crisp
articulation and the buzz sound in their voice-box.
It may be argued as to how much this difference is due to the Negro's
large lips, tongues etc. (e.g. many can't pronounce "r"), how much is due to
an evolutionary development which did not require complexities of articulation
because there were no corresponding complexities of thought requiring
expression and, conversely, whether the inability to formulate complex
articulation patterns (i.e. communication breakdown) prevented group
development of the complex thought processes and, ultimately, behaviour
patterns needed to initiate and sustain technological societies under the rule
of law.
Whatever, the aural differences exist and owe nothing to "folk
taxonomies" or to any other PC persiflage. Interestingly, I seem unable to
distinguish Australian Whites from aborigines by voice, though this may be a
reflection of how "White" many of today's aborigines are.

D. MacMillan
Discriminating listener.