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Tone Deafness

Is anyone REALLY tone deaf? For example in countries like China with
zillions of people, and where tone is an important part of the language,
are people there unable to communicate because they are tone deaf?
Somehow I doubt it. The definition of tone deafness would have to
accommodate the fact that most of the people who say they are, seem
to talk just fine (not in a monotone). Perhaps they just had bad music
teachers in elementary school.

Just a thought,
Rebecca Mercuri.