Q: Our family is looking for a new apartment. This morning, after I saw a good one advertised in the paper, I called and was told that the unit had been rented. About 15 minutes later, not realizing that I had called already, my daughter called and got an appointment to see it right away! I think there's something going on here -- I speak with a Latino accent, but my daughter has none. Am I being too suspicious? --Delia J. A: Although it's possible that the unit somehow unrented itself in those 15 minutes, it sounds more likely that you experienced what academics (and lawyers) have described as "linguistic profiling." Studies have shown that people are astonishingly capable of differentiating race and ethnicity just by the sound of a speaker's voice -- in one such study, 72 percent of the listeners correctly identified the speaker as black, even though he said only one word: "hello." Of course, being able to differentiate between a black and a non-blac...
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