For the Anglophiles among us, this may sound like a dream. But in reality, it’s actually pretty scary. After complaining of a headache, an American woman named Michelle Myers woke up to find herself speaking in a British accent. And it’s lasted on and off for roughly two years. It seems like a prank, but it’s actually a real condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome.
Foreign Accent Syndrome, also known as FAS, is said to occur after a stroke or a traumatic injury to the brain. The University of Texas at Dallas states that FAS often causes people to speak in different intonations, can make people add stress to different syllables in a word, and can cause people to say words that they don’t necessarily mean — in their example, they use the words “bike” and “pike.”
Myers noted that the British accent was the third to pop up. She’s had blinding headaches before that have left her speaking with both an Irish and an Australian accent, but neither lasted as long as the current British one.
Myers isn’t the only person who’s been affected. Back in 2015, a woman from Texas named Lisa Alamia gained a British accent after having jaw surgery. Another woman named Sarah Colwill had a stroke a few years back, and woke up with a Chinese accent — which she was told would be permanent.
We can’t imagine how hard this would be to actually live with, and we hope researchers get to the bottom of FAS soon.