The sound(s) of pain

Four colors ought to be enough.

What does pain “sound” like? The AHHNCC (A Helping Hands Noise Conformation Conference) met last week to approve a new standardized sound for pain, anger, being punched, punching someone, dropping something on your toe, and being unable to breathe.

“People have been putting the word out that these six are interchangeable for decades,” said Hugh Jeers, the group’s current secretary. “We teach people that any one of these sounds indicates the maker is dangerous.

It’s true that to most people, the surprised “Eek!” you make when you drop something on your toe sounds exactly like the “Whoosh-smack!” you make when you punch someone, which sounds exactly like the “Grrr” you make when you are angry, which sounds just like the “Hnnnnnh” and “Uhnhhh” sounds you make when you are in pain or punched.

Why have six sounds when you can have one?

The group introduced “bam,” one sound to represent all of these sounds at once.

“It’s not to simplify hearing so much as make them more accurate,” said Jeers. “Almost everyone uses a Lite Zout translator these days, whether they know it or not. And translators show the same reading for all six of these sounds– ‘Danger’.

“We can’t retrain every single LZ translator to report the right interpretation for these sounds,” he went on. “There are too many of them. But if we get the translators to report ‘BAM’ when they hear any one of these noises, instead of ‘Danger,’ the person getting the translation will at least have to interpret and/or investigate the sound for themselves.”

iKnow, the company that came up with the idea of the Lite Zout translator, was not available for comment. Perhaps the scandal earlier this year when “Wipe those crumbs off the table,” was translated as “Get those undesirable persons out of the neighbors” still stings.

Users of the iKnow So Magic Eightball product line are advised to discontinue use as soon as possible until they learn to read the future for themselves. Those with Lite Zout translators are advised that those things will say just about anything as if they mean it and are often completely inaccurate. Half the time this isn’t even their fault.

“So many people get punched because someone is punching them,” said Jeers. “Almost Nobody wants that. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but getting these words right should slow that crap down a lot.”

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