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):
- Fingernails on a Blackboard (although this has become pretty rare due to the increasing use of whiteboards)
- Hysterically Crying Toddler in an enclosed space — especially in the seat next to you on an airplane
- Car Alarm going on and off and on for hours in the middle of the night
- The Deafening Security Alarm at my former workplace when I set it off accidentally
- 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?