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309613.  Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:56 am Reply with quote

Q: Does it take more muscles to frown or smile?

A: Frown

(on edit: he means "smile", folks - Flash)

Muscles involved in a "zygomatic" (i.e., genuine) smile:

Zygomaticus major and minor. These muscles pull up the corners of the mouth. They're bilateral (one set on either side of the face). Total number of muscles: 4.

Orbicularis oculi. One of these muscles encircles each eye and causes crinkling. Total: 2.

Levator labii superioris. Pulls up corner of lip and nose. Bilateral. Total: 2.

Levator anguli oris. Also helps elevate angle of mouth. Bilateral. Total: 2.

Risorius. Pulls corner of mouth to the side. Bilateral. Total: 2.

Grand total for smiling: 12.

Principal muscles involved in a frown:

Orbicularis oculi (again). Total: 2.

Platysma. Pulls down lips and wrinkles skin of lower face. Bilateral (though joined at midline). Total: 2.

Corrugator supercilii (bilateral) and procerus (unilateral). Furrow brow. Total: 3.

Orbicularis oris. Encircles mouth; purses lips. Unilateral. Total: 1.

Mentalis. Depresses lower lip. Unilateral. Total: 1.

Depressor anguli oris. Pulls corner of mouth down. Bilateral. Total: 2.

Grand total for frowning: 11.


309799.  Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:31 am Reply with quote

I asked the picture researchers to see if they can find some anatomical cutaway drawings to illustrate this, but an alternative would be to get two of those phrenological heads and highlight the muscles in paint.

Let's use a new word that the relevant specialists can search for: "propmaster".

309806.  Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quote

I think this'll need fleshing out before it's ready to fly - things like:

What is the myth / cliche supposed to be? (Snopes suggests 43 to frown and 17 to smile)

Where does it come from?

What else is there to say about facial muscles? (definitely something about botox - somebody was saying something at one of the meetings about how little of it is needed to kill everybody in the world)

312374.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:43 am Reply with quote

I’m not sure I get this ...

The cliche is “It takes more muscles to frown than to smile, you know!”

Meaning: You might as well be cheerful, it’s less effort.

Or: “Cheer up, love, it might never happen!”

So, the answer we’re giving is ...

A: Frown

... or is that just a typo?

312409.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:34 am Reply with quote

Yes, I think that's just a typo. We're saying that smiling uses more muscles than frowning; though IIRC there was a caveat about the fact that your smiling muscles are easier to use than your frown ones, due to getting more excersize. Or something like that.

312447.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:33 am Reply with quote

Oh, in that case, I like it! It's such an irritating cliche, it could do with being made to cry.

312627.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:12 am Reply with quote

My favourite response to that is:

annoying sod: "You know, it takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile"
witty riposte: "Yeah, but it only takes 6 muscles to punch you in the face, so..."

312635.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:21 am Reply with quote

Note to self, this links to the muscles in the FINGERS.


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