Woman Leaves Dentist Office With Foreign Accent

Photo: Heinz Hirndorf (CC)

Photo: Heinz Hirndorf (CC)

When we leave the dentist after oral surgery it’s common to talk a little funny while the novocaine wears off, but Karen Butler left with a foreign accent. While this isn’t the first incident of its kind, it’s still a mystery as to why individuals develop accents or lose  is From Jane Greenhalgh via NPR:

When Karen Butler went in for dental surgery, she left with more than numb gums: She also picked up a pronounced foreign accent. It wasn’t a fluke, or a joke — she’d developed a rare condition called foreign accent syndrome that’s usually caused by an injury to the part of the brain that controls speech.

Butler was born in Bloomington, Ill., and moved to Oregon when she was a baby. She’s never traveled to Europe or lived in a foreign country — she’s an American, she says, “born and bred.”

But she doesn’t sound like one anymore. Her accent is now a hodgepodge of English, Irish and perhaps a bit of other European accents.

The problem started about a year and a half ago, when she was put under anesthesia while the dentist removed several teeth.

[Continues at NPR]

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  • SF2K01

    Since the accent is just a result of the mouth muscles being formed in particular ways, I imagine something the dentist did caused the muscles to involuntarily change and now they’re “stuck” in their new shape whatever that is. It’s not quite as interesting as the people who get hit by trucks or buses and wake up speaking another language.

  • Anonymous

    Since the accent is just a result of the mouth muscles being formed in particular ways, I imagine something the dentist did caused the muscles to involuntarily change and now they’re “stuck” in their new shape whatever that is. It’s not quite as interesting as the people who get hit by trucks or buses and wake up speaking another language.

  • quartz99

    Yeah, really, unless she’s started using Irish slang or something, I fail to see why this surprises anyone. You learn to talk with your muscles and teeth and tongue in certain ways. Something happens to change the shape or flexibility of any of these parts and you will sound different.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, really, unless she’s started using Irish slang or something, I fail to see why this surprises anyone. You learn to talk with your muscles and teeth and tongue in certain ways. Something happens to change the shape or flexibility of any of these parts and you will sound different.

  • Mr. Coffee

    I hope whoever posted this dies screaming in a fire.

  • Mr. Coffee

    I hope whoever posted this dies screaming in a fire.

  • http://newdruidexpress.blogspot.com Symbollocks The Druid

    Is the occurrence totally random, or is the specific accent a predictable function of the type of procedure performed?  Does extraction of a rear molar produce Liverpudlian tones and a root canal of a bicuspid result in a sexy Russian overtone?

    Science needs to find out–and NOW–before we’re forced to sit through another Hollywood clusterfukc.
    http://www.cracked.com/funny-1991-the-worst-movie-accents/

  • http://newdruidexpress.blogspot.com Symbollocks The Druid

    Is the occurrence totally random, or is the specific accent a predictable function of the type of procedure performed?  Does extraction of a rear molar produce Liverpudlian tones and a root canal of a bicuspid result in a sexy Russian overtone?

    Science needs to find out–and NOW–before we’re forced to sit through another Hollywood clusterfukc.
    http://www.cracked.com/funny-1991-the-worst-movie-accents/

  • http://www.meratvforum.org T.v Serials

    What is the strangest after-effect surgery has you or someone you know?
    Oregon woman develops foreign believably Mediterranean accent after
    surgery [AP via CBS News, Newsvine]

  • http://www.meratvforum.org T.v Serials

    What is the strangest after-effect surgery has you or someone you know?
    Oregon woman develops foreign believably Mediterranean accent after
    surgery [AP via CBS News, Newsvine]

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