say cheese!

the bbc’s got a little test to see if u can tell the diff between real and fake smiles. i’ve taken a couple of these in the past and never managed to do very well. this time i got 15 out of 20. yay! been practicing. (i can see u comin’ miles away now, bunch o’ fakers!)

at the end of the test there’s some hints on how to spot real smiles.

(note: comments do not require an email.)


  1. Generally it’s in the eyes.

    I maintain that it is much easier to tell when an Oriental is fake smiling. Those Orientals without eyelid-surgery tend to have their eyes almost disappear into “slits” when they [genuinely] grin. Hence the Oriental “I am happy” emoticon: ^_^


  2. [Warning, “Spoilers”: Do not click until you’ve taken the test too!] Screenshots of my results .

    I notice on three of my four misses, the person was mildly-happy to begin with, which threw me off. The fourth was East-Indian, a people I have little experience with.


  3. That’s odd to hear, since a big stereotype about them is their being ‘inscrutable’ – second only to ‘oriental despotism’.


  4. “Inscrutable: adj., not easily understood; mysterious; unfathomable.”

    I do think that is an accurate characterization of Oriental societies. From a western perspective, sure. They’re operating under a very, very different set of cultural “rules”, most of which are unspoken. You have to be “in on it” to get it.


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