But the milk tastes the same

Entire TV commercials – perhaps you've seen them – have been based on the premise that some people and their pet dogs share a resemblance. Hmmm, well, maybe. But what to make of the claim coming now from some farmers in England that the more time they spend with their cows, the more the cows mimic their regional accent? Take Lloyd Green, for example. A member in good standing of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers Group, he told journalists: "My Friesians ... definitely moo with a Somerset drawl. I've spoken to the other farmers in the group and they have noticed a similar development in their own herds." Describing the local dialect a year ago for the BBC, Somerset author Roger Evans wrote that "vowel sounds gain an 'r.'" Thus, "moo" would be heard there as "moo-rr." Good journalists normally appeal to experts for their opinions on such theories, and this case is no exception. So? Apparently, they tend to agree. Said John Wells, a professor of phonetics at University College, London: "This phenomenon is well attested in birds. You find distinct chirping accents in the same species around the country. This could also be true of cows."

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