Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Boy of 10 wakes from brain operation with new, posh accent

A ten-year-old boy who underwent life-saving brain surgery has astonished doctors by emerging with a different accent.
William McCartney-Moore fell seriously ill with a rare strain of meningitis last March and had an operation to remove fluid on his brain. But in the weeks since his treatment, William, from York, has lost his northern twang and acquired the elongated vowels of received pronunciation (RP). His mother, Ruth McCartney-Moore, said: "He survived the operation and the most amazing thing is that he came out of surgery with a completely different accent." The family first noticed the change in William’s accent after he left hospital in April: "We went on a family holiday to Northumberland and he was playing on the beach and he said 'Look, I’ve made a sand castle’ but really stretched the vowels, which made him sound really posh."Phil Edge, the head of therapy services for international charity Brainwave, said it is rare for a child to change accents after surgery. "It is not very common, I have worked here 20 years and can’t think of an instance where a child has spoken with a different accent after surgery."

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