TCS: What is the Most Annoying Sound on Earth?

Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


I like the muted sounds, the shroud of grey,
and the silence that comes with fog. 

– Om Malik, Indian writer


Seeking inspiration for today’s TCS, I came across the video below, which explains the origin of the sound that a drop of water makes when it falls into more water. The header bills it as the “most annoying sound on earth.”  While I do find that sound annoying when it is repeated again and again, it doesn’t even make my Top Five (in no particular order):

  1. Fingernails on a Blackboard (although this has become pretty rare due to the increasing use of whiteboards)
  2. Hysterically Crying Toddler in an enclosed space — especially in the seat next to you on an airplane
  3. Car Alarm going on and off and on for hours in the middle of the night
  4. The Deafening Security Alarm at my former workplace when I set it off accidentally
  5. A Dentist’s Drill



Looking at my list, I realize that one of the elements of most annoying sounds is repetition. Almost any sound, if repeated endlessly, is annoying.  The sound of a phrase of music played over and over by a stuck phonograph needle might make the list — if this were 1970. And there’s a second realization — what’s annoying changes as some inventions become obsolete, and new annoying noisemakers come on the scene.

Another thing that stands out — the noises on my list are man-made, even that shrieking kid.


So, what are your Top Five Most Annoying Sounds?

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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