My first post. I'm thrilled. I'm so thrilled, in fact, that I've nearly swallowed my own tongue. Let me accentuate nearly. This is not an activity I would promote as a method of expressing your excitement, even over the most electrifying event. I stress this as a disclaimer, because I understand that many of you out there have a limited understanding of hyperbole, and I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that swallowing one's own tongue is at any time an acceptable response to a situation.
There are a few reasons why swallowing your tongue can be quite unpleasant and definitely undesirable for most. Firstly, in order to be able to swallow your own tongue, you must first detach your frenulum linguae, which I assume to be painful and must involve a great amount of blood. This leads to the second reason, which is that the first leaves you in a terrible predicament if you do not have a lot of personal physical control. You are now able to have your tongue flip back into your throat, but you are caught in a terrible bind, having to choose between asphyxiating on your own blood or choking terribly on a tongue that will not actually make its way to your stomach. This is the third problem: although you have detached your frenulum linguae, your tongue is not going to simply slide down your throat and into your stomach for digestion, because it is attached by tissues at other points you cannot feasibly reach. Fourthly, cannibalism. Honestly, do you want to go about eating human meat, especially your own? Who knows, in these days of mad cow disease, what this could do to you. It is also important to keep in mind that our society frowns quite heavily on such things. Fifthly, and lastly, some dang fool down the hall is likely going to hear your gurgling on your own blood and call the paramedics, which will only thwart your attempt at personal expression and leave you back at square one, wondering how to best express your excitement in a given situation. A Danish soccer player tried tongue-swallowing during a match, and found his mouth stuffed full of the fingers of perfect strangers, which is so distasteful.
So, you see, personal tongue-swallowing is no kind of activity to contemplate too seriously, and I for one do not condone such forms of personal expression. Try running giddily down the street and knocking your heels together in mid-air, or spin yourself in circles until the whole world spins with the same dizzying excitement you do, but self-cannibalization is something best left to the professionals.
Tongue Facts and Links:
* The anteater's tongue can stretch to the height of a two-year old child.
* Tongue cleaning reduces mouth odor by 75%.
* Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
* A chameleon's tongue is twice the length of its body.
* Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.
* The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the toughest tongue twister in the English language.
* A giraffe can clean its ears with its 50cm (20 in) tongue.
* The tongue of a blue whale is as long as an elephant.
* Pure capsaicin (the primary capsaicinoid, 8-methyl-n-vanillyl-6-nonenamide), is so pungent that a single drop diluted in 100,000 drops of water will produce blistering of the tongue.
* The strongest muscle (relative to size) in the body is the tongue.
* Ancient writings tell of the snakes healing with a touch of the tongue. The snake in question was the Aesculapian snake. The Romans chose to import this snake to their own temples, rather than to bring in Greek healers. The snake today form part of the symbol of physicians and veterinarians (the snake is wrapped around Asklepios' staff), linking snakes to millennia of healing and medical practice.