Fingernails GRATING on a chalkboard...

Elaine Lally elally at
Thu Dec 22 06:59:08 EST 1994

In article <Jk5U2Cx.greystroke at>, greystroke at wrote:

> Anyways, on to the question...Being a high school student, I can't help but
> notice the severe irritation caused in some people by that nasty sound of a
> teacher's fingernails accidently screeching accross a chalkboard.  Though
> I know some people are merely annoyed by the sound, others, such as myself
> absolutely cannot tolerate the noise.  Hearing it makes me cringe; I want
> to flee from the sound and attack the person making the sound at the same
> moment.  Others experience the same sensation.  WHY does such a sound
> cause so much anger and irritation in many people.  
> Anyone have any answers?
> Thanks!
> Scott.

I read somewhere, many years ago and I can't remember where, that the sound
of fingernails on blackboard is similar to the danger warning cry of
some monkeys somewhere in the jungle. This is presumably why we have such
a strong reaction to this sound: it's hard-wired in more-or-less.

Maybe someone else has some more specific information


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