Is there a language sensitivity gene? - Writer's Digest

Is there a language sensitivity gene?

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Hi Writers,
I just read an interesting "On Language" column in the NYT this week written by Jaimie Epstein, "Sentence Sensibility"

This column (difficult to get through due to the satiric(?) use of Jane Austen-esque run-on sentences that could poke a person's eye out) brings up an important question for writers to obsess over: "Is there a language-sensitivity gene?"

From my own observations, I'd have to say, absolutely, yes. Case in point: This very weekend a song came on the car radio. It was a locally produced song, circa-1978 called, "Music, Sex and Cookies." I hadn't heard this particular song in at least two decades. Well, my passengers were stunned to witness that I knew the lyrics in their entirety.

This happens often and I never really think about it until I'm with non language sensitive types, and they infer how utterly freakish it is.

This, coupled with the fact that certain words will turn me so pale that our managing editor keeps smelling salts in her desk, leads me to believe there is, in fact, a language sensitivity gene.

To prove my point, I'm going to list one of my most hated words right here so you'll see for yourself:

penultima...

See, I just passed out.

Here's my question to you: Is there such a thing as a language sensitivity gene?
Also, what's your most hated word? Go ahead and share, it's good to let it out.

Keep Writing,
Maria
P.S. A loyal WD forum member (cooltouch) has correctly pointed out that I offer no sound scientific findings in my thesis here stated. I am ordering DNA testing of grandparents on both sides and will report back on the results.

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