In 1834, the British Poor Laws were created to regulate the lives of the poor. The rich upper-classes thought they could manage society in such a way as to eradicate poverty. But to do so they would have to establish themselves as “the elite.” They had to separate themselves from the poor by giving themselves a separate dialect of the english language from the rest of society. The modern day result of that is astonishing.
Tag Archives | Accent
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:
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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.