Last year, nine-year-old William Moore of York, England underwent emergency brain surgery after doctors discovered a brain abscess caused by meningitis. When he finally spoke again, William's Yorkshire accent
had completely disappeared and he was now speaking the Queen's English (aka Received Pronunciation
). After a long recovery, William is now fine but his Yorkshire dialect never returned. From The Evening Standard:
Brain surgeon Paul Eldridge, who works at the specialist Walton Neurological Centre, Liverpool, said it was possible that the infection and abscess had affected the area of the brain which controls language skills, forcing William to learn how to speak again.
"It's as if he's re-learnt how to talk from listening to language from sources different to those that prompted his speech first time around."
Phil Edge, head of therapy at the brain injury charity, Brainwave, said: "I've heard of other patients developing changes in their speech or behaviour following a head injury or brain surgery, but not quite to this extent that an accent completely changes.
"Usually, a person's speech changes in pitch or tone, but it's interesting that this boy's lost his Yorkshire dialect completely.
"Obviously there has been some change to the central speech centre of his brain which has caused differences in how it is functioning now, compared with before the operation."
Greg Benjamin points us to last week's Daily Mail article about the Czech motorbike racer who crashed and woke up speaking fluent English. Link (Thanks, Vann Hall!)
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]