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Bloody Awful !

June 22nd, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

This morning while reading cnn news on the train, I was struck by an interesting article, “Car Crash Leaves Australian Woman With French Accent”. Apparently the bumps and bruises suffered eight years ago have long since healed but what’s hurting her the most is an accent  acquired for a language she doesn’t even speak and is unable to retrieve her original Aussie accent.

I am not making this up. Foreign Accent Syndrome is a rare condition resulting from a brain injury, the first of which was reported in 1941 when a Norwegian woman was injured by shrapnel during a German raid. She began speaking with a German accent and was shunned by her native Norwegian people. Ach du lieber!

What’s supposed to be a serious condition is, c’mon guys, too FUNNY for words! I found myself laughing out loud, trying to suppress my laughter on a public train. I’m certain my fellow passenger sitting opposite was wondering what was so hilarious after I read about the British woman whose migraine left her with a Chinese accent. I was in stitches by her following statement, “To think I am stuck with this Chinese accent is getting me down. My voice has started to annoy me now”. Stop! I am DYING! Willing myself to act normal before I begin rolling in the aisle with uncontrollable GUFFAWS!

If you Google Foreign Accent Syndrome, you’ll be presented with numerous accounts of this baffling (and I’m sorry, LOL) condition. How does one go through life if this mysterious ailment doesn’t correct itslef, as it oftentimes does not? People whose paths you cross will inevitably ask about your background, curious to know why an American or a European with typical features posseses an accent of Oriental origin. Might it be best to assume sign language when in public? And your family, what must they think? “You’re putting me on, right?” or ” Come off it, Harry. Always the clown.”

And what about ordering Chinese food? They’ll think you’re mimicking them and a heated argument will develop over the Won Ton soup. You won’t even get any fortune cookies with your order. You might even get the meal with the unidentifiable meat.

What about the Woody Allen type? The psychosymatic who conjures every affliction known to mankind? This bizarre disease will give him one more to worry about. He’ll start speaking in tongues. A variation of all languages culminating in an assorted stream of accents in the breath of a single sentence. It can become exhausting, impossible to carry on a conversation with the constant distraction of the mottled mangling of words.

Whatever happens, watch that bump to the cranium. I’d hate to have to listen to a Brooklyn accent for the rest of my life. FAH-GEDDA-BOUD-ID. Pass me the BUD-DAH.

So…………….whadayathink? What accent would your brain retrieve from its recesses? Could you live with it?crayon

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One Response to “Bloody Awful !”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    The Brilliant neuroscientist, Oliver Sacks, has written quite extensively about this very, very strange affliction. Excellent essay and I believe Dr. Sacks himself would be quite impressed with this blog. Great Job as always !!! BTW, Oliver Sacks has authored such strange but scholarly and interesting books with odd titles such as ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’, ‘Seeing Voices’, ‘An Anthropologist On Mars’ and other gems.

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