Friday 25 October 2013 by James Andrews

Scientists discover ‘chimney’ mispronunciation gene

Cambridge Scientists believe they may have discovered a genetic defect that makes some people say ‘chimley’ instead of ‘chimney’, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

Researchers at Cambridge University made the chance discovery while working on a cure for bowel cancer but it’s hoped the discovery may help millions of households across the UK where one or more family members is unable to correctly pronounce the familiar rooftop feature.

For years it was thought that people who persisted in using the term ‘chimley’, despite constantly being corrected, were simply being obstinate and too proud to admit an error.

Now, according to this latest research, it seems the condition may be genetic.

Genetic discovery

Peter Henley is one of the scientists who made the discovery, and he told reporters, “We had an idea that chimney mispronunciation might be genetic because it appeared to run in the family.”

“If the mother or father was mispronouncing the word then children would tend to exhibit the condition, too.”

“By being able to identify the chimney gene we’ve been able to prove that link.”

It’s hoped the discovery may shed some light on the mispronunciation of other words such as ‘skellington’ and ‘apsolutely’.

It has also rekindled hopes of finding the Jeremy Kyle gene – the gene responsible for making people want to humiliate themselves on his daytime television show.

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