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Alright, here's the straight poop on this story...

I spoke with a coworker this afternoon who is a) an ENT surgeon and thus
knows a little bit about the surgery in question and b) Korean and thus
knows a little bit about the phisiological requirements for speaking the
language.

It's his opinion that the story, as far as it goes, is crap. You don't 
need a longer tongue to speak Korean, and having excess tissue under one's
tongue won't hamper one's ability to speak Korean any more than any other
language.

That said, there are still valid reasons for the operation; speaking Korean
simply is not one of them.

--- On Tue, 11/8/11, Sam Stutter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I'm told, when I was young, my tongue
> was so held back as to worry nurses that "I might never be
> able to speak". They were wrong of course, but I can't stick
> my tongue out or correctly pronounce the trill /r/. Like
> sensitive teeth, there are much worse things in life to have
> :)

A lot of people can't do trilled Rs, having little to do with your issue!

> On 8 Nov 2011, at 15:06, Peter Cyrus <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
> > But even after the operation (which takes 5 minutes: 1
> to cut and 4 to
> > sew), I still can't stick my tongue out of my
> mouth.  Once your motor
> > neurons are set, they're set, and I have no idea what
> mental gesture to
> > make to activate my tongue muscles to stick out my
> tongue.

That I'm not so sure about. It's not like your tongue was never able to 
move in the correct direction, even when it was tied. If you were able to 
speak at all, or lick your lips, or move your tongue in the forward 
direction at all, I should think you have all the required muscles and 
motor neural capacity.

You might look into some physical therapy. (Honestly!) They might at least 
be able to offer some tips on rediscovering your latent potentials! You 
might have to learn how to turn some action you can do into sticking your 
tongue out.

> > But apart from my promising career as a trombone
> player, it hasn't made any
> > difference in my ability to speak various foreign
> languages, although I've
> > never tried Korean.

I'm not sure why sticking your tongue out would help you play trombone,
though...

Padraic

> > 
> > On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 3:15 PM, <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > 
> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/**Lingual_frenectomy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingual_frenectomy>
> >> 
> >> Ben Scerri
> >> wrote:
> >> 
> >> 
> >>> 
> >> Either she had an abnormally short tongue, or it
> is simply a lie... I
> >>> seriously wouldn't put it past them.
> >>> Charlie Brickner wrote:
> >>> 
> >>>> The foiiIt-llowing appeared in today's
> "Ripley's Believe-It-or-Not":
> >>>> 
> >>>> "In an attempt to learn to speak Korean
> more easily 19-year-old Rhiannon
> >>>> Brooksbank-Jones of Beeston,
> Northhamptonshire, UK, had surgery to
> >>> lengthen
> >>>> her tongue."
> >>>> 
> >>>> Can anyone on the list explain what that
> is all about???
> >>>> 
> >>>> Charlie
> >>>> 
> >>> 
> >>> 
> >>> 
>