A couple of articles in the Los Angeles Times indicate that what we hear is in the ear of the beholder.
For aging baby boomers and others who can still hear the “aahs” and “oohs” of a golfing audience but miss the high-pitched whining of children and the “sshh” of the librarian, scientists are working on an implantable device similar to cochlear implants for the deaf. Not a hearing aid, the “hybrid” device, still in the development stage, allows a person to hear on her own while enhancing the muddy sounds.
One user explains, “Hearing aids made everything louder, not clearer. I didn’t need amplification. I needed clarification. ”
Ahh, as it is with everything in life, from politics to talk radio to drug advertising.
Science also is examining the significance of the grunt. You’ve heard of the gym that banned a weightlifter for grunting like Monica Seles, only deeper and louder. Well, there may be something other than showboating at work here. Apparently, there is a science of “acoustic primatology, ” which concludes that grunting while performing spectacular feats actually helps focus the performer on the task at hand.
On the other hand, however, a Gold’s Gym sports psychologist says grunting has no place in the weight room because “When you think about grunting, you tend to think about King Kong, moving furniture and sex.” Not a dumbbell.