Inexplicably Normalized Justification of Unusual Recurring Incongruous Event Sounds
Andrew Butters, B.Sc.
Gordon Bonnet, B.Sc., M.A.
Injuries sustained over the first forty-eight years of the subject’s life are analyzed to determine the correlation between injury severity and the subject’s audible response. An empirical analysis is applied for the amplitude and frequency of the audible response as well as the active pain response duration leveraging novel units of measurement. Finally, a new universal law is presented.
Using the idiom, “The bigger they are the harder they fall,” as a starting point, the aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the severity of a painful or discomforting event and the subject’s audible response. A study, Swearing as a Response to Pain[i] [Stephens et. al., 2009], found that when an injury occurs, an audible expression of distress decreases the intensity of the pain experienced. Another study, Effect of Manipulated State Aggression on Pain Tolerance[ii] [Stephens & Allsop, 2012], found that athletes’ stamina and sense of discomfort decreases if they shout expletives during exertion, for which one of us (Bonnet) can offer anecdotal evidence in the form of his experience of screaming “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” during a race when he realized the last 300 meters of the course was steeply uphill.
Materials and Methods
Using the first-hand recollections captured in Near Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Humorous Memoir of Misfortune (Potato Chip Math Creations, April 2023), 75 data points and associated qualitative attributes were collected.
The study began in November 1973 in the parking lot of an apartment building in Toronto but unfortunately, due to the in utero[iii] [Cobain et. al., 1993] state of the subject at the time, relevant data was unavailable. The first captured data point was obtained in July 1975 when the subject reached the age of 18 months. Data collection continued for an additional 548 months until the subject reached the age of 47 years (give or take a few days).
We first agreed that the system for registering the severity of discomfort or pain being experienced would be the Butters Relative Pain Scale™ (BuRPS)[iv]:
|1||Onset of gastrointestinal discomfort after eating bad food|
|2||Being punched in the arm by someone bigger than you|
|3||Walking into a tree/door/light post while staring at your phone|
|4||Pulling out a nose hair|
|5||Cooking bacon naked|
|6||Stubbing your pinkie toe on the foot of a bed|
|7||Catching one or more fingers in a door|
|8||Stepping on a Lego barefoot|
|9||Getting your private parts caught in a zipper|
We also established that the sound level would utilize the standard Decibel scale[v]:
|Decibels||Type of sound|
|0||absolute silence (threshold of hearing)|
|20||radio, television, or recording studio|
|30||quiet lecture hall; bedroom|
|40||quiet room in home|
|50||restaurant; private office|
|60||normal conversation; business office|
|70||average street noise; loud telephone bell|
|90||bus or truck interior|
|110||loud orchestral music, in audience|
|120||amplified rock music; near jet engine|
|130||artillery fire at close proximity (threshold of pain)|
Given the unavailability of a sound meter at the time of each injurious event, we established a sound volume approximation method: Generally Undefined Examination of Sustained Sound (GUESS).
Similarly, due to the unavailability of recordings for each injurious event, we established an expletive frequency and duration approximation method: Another Generally Undefined Examination of Sustained Swearing (Another GUESS).
Finally, we calculated the resulting Injury Impulse by multiplying the expletive frequency (fucks, Fk) by the pain spike duration (seconds, s) and associated sound volume (decibels, dB).
Upon review of the data, we determined that some of the results were skewed either high or low. Further examination showed a correlation between the deviation and the age range at which the injury occurred. From this, we established a constant to compensate for incidents that either downplay the severity of the injury (in an attempt to “act tough” or impress peers) or overreact to it (in an attempt to garner more attention from those in the vicinity).
The Deterministic Age Manipulation Number (DAMN) was set to 0.75 for injuries in the zero to 10-year age range (i.e., the event was likely not as severe as reported) and to 1.25 for the 11 to 20-year age range (i.e., the event was likely more severe than reported).
We applied the Injury Impulse transformation to each data point along with giving the appropriate Deterministic Age Manipulation Number (DAMN) to arrive at the corresponding Fuck-Second-Decibels (Fuckibels) value (Appendix A).
A simple plot (Appendix B, both with and without giving a DAMN) of the BuRPS and Fuckibels showed a straightforward non-linear relationship[vi] [Spivak, 2010] between the two described by the following expression:
Injury Impulse = 25(BuRPS2) + 75(BuRPS) + 50
One data point was thought to be an outlier (max BuRPS) but we determined this was a special case given the severity of the pain involved. For maximum BuRPS:
Injury Impulse = 3(BuRPS4)
Two data points alluded to exceptions to the aforementioned relationships. What if the subject, for whatever reason—whether it be unwillingness or an inability to—experienced a non-zero injury severity but displayed no outward expression of pain or discomfort? According to the formulae, this should result in an Injury Impulse of zero, however, by definition the experienced value is greater than zero. This creates a paradox akin to what is shown by the Black Knight in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
From these results, we can conclude that for severity values greater than zero and less than the maximum there is a consistent and predictable polynomial relationship between the Butters Relative Pain Scale™ and the Injury Impulse in accordance with Butters’ses Law of General Fuckibelity:
For all injuries less than the maximum severity, the resulting Injury Impulse increases by twenty-five times the square of the severity plus seventy-five times the severity plus fifty.
From this, it is intuitively obvious that analogous to the idiom, “The bigger they are the harder they fall,” comes the Butters’ses Idiomatic Corollary, “The worse the injury the louder and more frequent the swearing.”
Butters’ses Law of Special Fuckibelity:
For maximum severity, the Injury Impulse is three times the severity to the fourth power and represents the upper pain threshold for a human.
There is a way to violate both forms of Butters’ses Law and that is to not react at all. Grin and bear it. Suck it up, buttercup. Pretend it never happened. This results in what is called The Black Knight Paradox, wherein irrespective of the severity of the wound, the response by the affected person is always:
“’Tis but a scratch.“[vii] [Knight, 1975]
|#||Section and Chapter||Body Part||Activity||Age Range||Decade||BuRPS||Fk-s||dB||DAMN||Fk-dB-s|
|1||Introduction||3||Full Body||Gestating||-4 mo to 5 y||70s||Undefined||n/a||n/a||n/a||Undefined|
|2||Introduction||3||Head||Walking||-4 mo to 5 y||70s||4.5||12||98||0.75||882|
|3||Introduction||3||Full Body||I Was a Dumbass||-4 mo to 5 y||70s||3||10||67||0.75||502|
|4||Introduction||4||Full Body||Walking||-4 mo to 5 y||80s||1||3||66||0.75||148|
|5||Introduction||4||Chest||Climbing||11 – 15 y||80s||7||15||94||1.25||1762|
|6||Introduction||4||Hand||I Was a Dumbass||11 – 15 y||80s||5.5||10||98||1.25||1225|
|7||Introduction||4||Full Body||Biking||11 – 15 y||80s||2.5||6||53||1.25||397|
|8||Introduction||4||Full Body||Walking||11 – 15 y||80s||2||4||60||1.25||300|
|9||Introduction||4||Full Body||Swimming||16 – 20 y||90s||2||5||48||1.25||300|
|10||Head & Shoulders||5||Face||I Was a Dumbass||36 – 40 y||10s||4||10||75||1||750|
|11||Head & Shoulders||6||Face||Jumping||-4 mo to 5 y||70s||7||25||98||0.75||1837|
|12||Head & Shoulders||7||Head||Jumping||11 – 15 y||80s||6||15||75||1.25||1406|
|13||Head & Shoulders||7||Head||Running||16 – 20 y||90s||6.5||17||77||1.25||1636|
|14||Head & Shoulders||7||Head||Running||16 – 20 y||90s||6.5||15||86||1.25||1612|
|15||Head & Shoulders||7||Face||Moshing||21 – 25 y||90s||4||10||75||1||750|
|16||Head & Shoulders||7||Face||Moshing||21 – 25 y||90s||4||10||75||1||750|
|17||Head & Shoulders||8||Head||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||6.5||15||84||1.25||1575|
|18||Head & Shoulders||8||Head||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||6.5||14||94||1.25||1645|
|19||Head & Shoulders||8||Head||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||7||15||96||1.25||1800|
|20||Head & Shoulders||9||Head||Snowboarding||31 – 35 y||00s||6.5||17||95||1||1615|
|21||Head & Shoulders||9||Head||Tubing||36 – 40 y||10s||7||20||92||1||1840|
|22||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||Shovelling||31 – 35 y||00s||4||8||95||1||760|
|23||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||Skiing||16 – 20 y||90s||8||20||91||1.25||2275|
|24||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||Running||11 – 15 y||80s||6||12||95||1.25||1425|
|25||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||Hockey||11 – 15 y||80s||3.5||6||84||1.25||630|
|26||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||I Was a Dumbass||16 – 20 y||90s||4||7||85||1.25||743|
|27||Head & Shoulders||10||Face||Snowboarding||26 – 30 y||00s||8||23||98||1||2254|
|28||Head & Shoulders||11||Face||I Was a Dumbass||16 – 20 y||90s||7||15||95||1.25||1781|
|29||Knees & Toes||12||Feet||I Was a Dumbass||36 – 40 y||10s||5||11||94||1||1034|
|30||Knees & Toes||12||Leg||I Was a Dumbass||11 – 15 y||80s||3.5||6||83||1.25||622|
|31||Knees & Toes||13||Ankle||Running||31 – 35 y||00s||5.5||15||82||1||1230|
|32||Knees & Toes||13||Ankle||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||5.5||12||81||1.25||1215|
|33||Knees & Toes||14||Leg||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||7||15||95||1.25||1781|
|34||Knees & Toes||14||Leg||Hockey||11 – 15 y||80s||4.5||8||91||1.25||910|
|35||Knees & Toes||15||Toe||Standing or Sitting||16 – 20 y||90s||9||30||80||1.25||3000|
|36||Knees & Toes||16||Ankle||Jumping||6 – 10 y||80s||7.5||30||92||0.75||2070|
|37||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||17||Arm||Hockey||11 – 15 y||80s||5||9||91||1.25||1023|
|38||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||17||Elbow||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||4||8||75||1.25||750|
|39||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||17||Finger or Thumb||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||3.5||6||82||1.25||615|
|40||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||18||Finger or Thumb||Random Accident||6 – 10 y||80s||7||26||91||0.75||1774|
|41||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||18||Finger or Thumb||Using a Tool||16 – 20 y||90s||4||6.5||92||1.25||747|
|42||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||18||Finger or Thumb||Using a Tool||46 – 47 y||20s||5.5||13||95||1||1235|
|43||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||18||Finger or Thumb||Random Accident||46 – 47 y||20s||7.5||20||100||1||2000|
|44||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||19||Finger or Thumb||Using a Tool||36 – 40 y||10s||8||30||77||1||2310|
|45||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||20||Finger or Thumb||Random Accident||16 – 20 y||90s||7.5||17||98||1.25||2082|
|46||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||20||Finger or Thumb||Medical Procedure||16 – 20 y||90s||3||5||80||1.25||500|
|47||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||20||Finger or Thumb||Using a Tool||16 – 20 y||90s||5||10||85||1.25||1062|
|48||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||21||Wrist||Random Accident||6 – 10 y||80s||6||20||94||0.75||1410|
|49||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||22||Arm||Biking||6 – 10 y||80s||6.5||25||85||0.75||1593|
|50||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||22||Arm||Medical Procedure||6 – 10 y||80s||8||25||125||0.75||2343|
|51||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||23||Hand||I Was a Dumbass||26 – 30 y||00s||5||12||87||1||1044|
|52||Upper Limbs & Phalanges||23||Hand||I Was a Dumbass||26 – 30 y||00s||8.5||25||98||1||2450|
|53||Torso & Near the Equator||24||Chest||Hockey||11 – 15 y||80s||7||15||95||1.25||1781|
|54||Torso & Near the Equator||24||Chest||Squash||36 – 40 y||10s||7||20||90||1||1800|
|55||Torso & Near the Equator||24||Chest||Snowboarding||31 – 35 y||00s||7||20||90||1||1800|
|56||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Back||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||8||20||90||1.25||2250|
|57||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Back||Walking||36 – 40 y||10s||8||25||88||1||2200|
|58||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Back||Standing or Sitting||16 – 20 y||90s||8||18||98||1.25||2205|
|59||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Back||Cleaning||26 – 30 y||00s||8||25||89||1||2225|
|60||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Back||Lifting Weights||26 – 30 y||00s||8||27||82||1||2214|
|61||Torso & Near the Equator||25||Ass||Lifting Weights||26 – 30 y||00s||Undefined||n/a||n/a||n/a||Undefined|
|62||Torso & Near the Equator||26||Kidney||Poor Diet||41 – 45 y||10s||10||240||129||1||30960|
|63||Torso & Near the Equator||26||Junk||Medical Procedure||41 – 45 y||10s||5||15||71||1||1065|
|64||Torso & Near the Equator||26||Junk||Medical Procedure||41 – 45 y||10s||6||15||96||1||1440|
|65||Torso & Near the Equator||27||Junk||Hockey||26 – 30 y||00s||4||8||96||1||768|
|66||Torso & Near the Equator||27||Junk||Hockey||16 – 20 y||90s||5||10||83||1.25||1037|
|67||Torso & Near the Equator||28||Junk||Medical Procedure||31 – 35 y||00s||5||12||87||1||1044|
|68||Torso & Near the Equator||28||Junk||Medical Procedure||31 – 35 y||00s||8||25||92||1||2300|
|69||Torso & Near the Equator||28||Junk||Lifting||31 – 35 y||00s||8||23||97||1||2231|
|70||Torso & Near the Equator||28||Back||Shoveling||36 – 40 y||10s||7||20||92||1||1840|
|71||Torso & Near the Equator||29||Ass||Medical Procedure||21 – 25 y||90s||6||15||94||1||1410|
|72||Torso & Near the Equator||29||Ass||Medical Procedure||21 – 25 y||90s||6||15||93||1||1395|
|73||Torso & Near the Equator||30||Ass||Medical Procedure||21 – 25 y||90s||6.5||17||96||1||1632|
|74||Torso & Near the Equator||30||Ass||Medical Procedure||21 – 25 y||90s||6||15||92||1||1380|
|75||Epilogue||31||Ass||Medical Procedure||21 – 25 y||90s||6.5||16||99||1||1584|
Funding for the study provided by the Andrew Butters Childhood Development and Education Fund (ABCDEF) ca. 1974-1993 from Mr. and Mrs. Butters Foundation.
[i] Stephens R, Atkins J, Kingston A. Swearing as a response to pain. Neuroreport. 2009 Aug 5;20(12):1056-60. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32832e64b1. PMID: 19590391.
[ii] Stephens, Richard & Allsop, Claire. (2012). Effect of Manipulated State Aggression on Pain Tolerance. Psychological reports. 111. 311-21. 10.2466/16.02.20.PR0.111.4.311-321.
[iii] Cobain K, Novoselic C, Grohl D, Albini S (producer). In Utero. DGC Records. 1993 Sept 21.
[iv] Author and copyright holder Near Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Humorous Memoir of Misfortune by Andrew Butters (Potato Chip Math Creations, Dieppe, New Brunswick, 2023; ISBN: 978-1-7781322-4-7)
[vi] Spivak, Michael Physics for mathematicians—mechanics I. Publish or Perish, Inc., Houston, TX, 2010. xvi+733 pp. ISBN: 978-0-914098-32-4
[vii] The Black Knight, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Python (Monty) Pictures, 1975)