The Null Device

The neurology of class

After undergoing brain surgery for life-threatening meningitis, a 10-year-old boy from York awoke with an upper-class English accent:
"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," Mrs McCartney-Moore said.
"We all just stared back at him - we couldn't believe what we had heard, because he had a Yorkshire accent before his illness.
"He had no idea why we were staring at him - he just thought he was speaking normally."
If young William's new posh accent is the result of incidental neurological damage to the speech centres of his brain, does it follow that people who naturally speak like that are neurologically defective? The jokes pretty much write themselves.

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