Further proof that not all scientific endeavour is wasted on the pointless pursuit of the world's first programmable computer or private space flight or the true shape of the universe comes in the form of Middlesex University research which has proved that the UK's duck population have regional accents.
According to the research team, Cornish ducks have a "chilled out" rural quack while wide-boy London ducks have an unpleasant shouting quack which they used to distract hapless foreigners before making off with their wallets and mobile phones.
English lecturer Victoria de Rijke told The Guardian: "London ducks have the stress of city life and a lot of noise to compete with, like sirens, horns, planes and trains. On the other hand, the Cornish ducks have a big field to roam in and their quiet surroundings make all of a difference. So it is like humans: cockneys have short and open vowels, whereas the Cornish have longer vowels and speak fairly slowly."
It is not yet known whether these regional variations extend to other parts of the country - de Rijke hopes to study Scouse and Geordie dialects to determine this. She will also turn her attention to Irish ducks, which presumably quack with an agreeable brogue.
We feel certain that the Nobel Prize jury is keeping a close eye on this ground-breaking linguistic project. ®
You must be joking.