Well that’s one way to acquire an accent.
Karen Butler is a 56-year-old tax consultant in Toledo, Oregon who went into surgery for a dental implant with a standard Oregonian accent and emerged with an accent that sounds one part South African, one part Irish and all parts WTF.
(More on TIME.com: Migraines can give you a new accent as well)
Apparently, Butler has a rare condition called foreign accent syndrome, thought to be caused by a small stroke which affects a specific area of the brain and alters a person’s speech patterns so it sounds as if they have a foreign accent. Though Butler says she hasn’t had any other symptoms that would indicate she suffered from a stroke, the accent hasn’t faded in two years.
And though she reports that she endures quite a bit of teasing about the accent — which can’t really be pegged as any sort of regional accent as it’s only an “amalgam of different-sounding speech that sounds like a foreign accent” — Butler admits that she sort of likes the way she sounds now, if only as a conversation topic if nothing else. (via ABC News)