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Why is it so frustrating/annoying when someone gives you advice (especially if it's advice you've already thought of, regardless of how clever it is) when all you really wanted was a sympathetic ear?


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I'm currently running a mini experiment on how native speakers of various dialects of English pronounce 'a' in some nonsense words. It only takes a few minutes and would help me out greatly. Results can be either left as a comment below this post or emailed to evil dot jen at gmail dot com. Thanks!

PS: If anyone's interested in the results or context for this, I'd be happy to post them up in a day or three when I've got all the results aggregated.

Instructions and words )
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Having just seen Med Revue at UNSW, the following question came to mind: Is one of these somehow 'better'; being grudging in your praise so that when you do give it out there's a sense of it being earnt; or giving lots of praise in order to create a positive mood and try encourage better performance overall, but at the risk of being seen as insincere in one's praise?

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