Your brother can do it, your cousin can do it, your mother could do it – but you can’t! We’re talking about the ever so important skill of rolling your tongue. Some people can do it and some people can’t. Have you ever wondered why? That’s just the type of question to ponder as you kick back on a warm summer day.
Genetics or Practice?
Between 65-81% of people are able to perform this fun but truly unnecessary trick. And it has often been taught that the ability to roll your tongue is genetically inherited. But then how could two non-rolling parents have a non-tongue rolling kid (they could, you know)?
It comes down to a potential combination of genetics and environment. The genetics may be there to affect the biology one way or the other but it may take a certain combination of dominant and recessives genes to create the trait. Or, in some cases, the environment or outside factors can break through those genetics and allow an individual genetically pre-disposed to never being able to perform this fun party trick to become a master tongue-roller.
So although it may not be as simple as your mom can and your dad can so you should, there is a connection to our genetic makeup as well as outside environmental influences. So if you want to perfect the tongue roll, there’s no time like the present!