Foreign Accent Syndrome.


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Drop that accent

You can't live with them and you can't live without them as well; and they come in all shapes and sizes! A specialty of their kind is those who come with the most hilarious accents! Ever had that friend who suddenly turns American in between conversations? Known more popularly as 'Foreign Accent Syndrome' we find out what is it about 'fake accents' that fascinate people so much...

"I think it is extremely annoying. Why fake it? Are they embarrassed of their actual accents?" asks Akhila Nair, student. She recalls an incident where her friend was talking in her fancy American accent and then suddenly her real accent slipped out. "It was hilarious! She was then talking about her native town and reminiscing when she unconsciously shifted to her original Indiana accent," adds Akhila.

Foreign Accent Syndrome has actually been listed down on the web as the 10 most bizarre mental disorders. And the cause? In the event of a kind of brain injury! A laughable disorder, the habit of faking accents has been quite the issue among big groups of friends. Often we have friends who would have watched that one James Bond flick and suddenly they're going, "Oh blimey. Can I get some tea here! And some cookies!". Sounds familiar? "My boss is this extremely annoying person who switches between American and British accents," recalls Neha Shah, ad copywriter. "I honestly think people who do this have a very low self esteem. They feel the need to be somebody else because otherwise others will not accept them," explains Neha.

The dictionary describes the syndrome as 'when a person suffers from this syndrome they speak their native language with a foreign accent'. The interesting trivia here is that there have been only 50 recorded cases of this syndrome between 1941 and 2006. Psychologists believe that this is a case of mimesis - which means imitation or mimicry. When one is with a group of friends we often imitate or take their style of speech. This is done unconsciously so that you can fit into a peer group.

Psychologically, the facts sound right and completely natural. But you know you just can't help sniggering when you hear a fake accent! Rekha Diwakar, HR personnel, recalls a gruelling placement session where an interviewee put on a horrible American accent. "It was stupid and not practical. Especially during a placement! Fake accents don't get you jobs!" says Rekha.

The next time you come across someone with that fake accent, you know you've just met someone suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome.

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome:
A condition in which a patient's sense of time, space and body image are distorted. People may appear tiny or patients may feel that part of their body shape or size has been altered.

Mythomania is a condition involving compulsive lying by a person with no obvious motivation.

Neglect Syndrome:
A person loses the ability to give equal attention to both sides of a space. For example, a patient in a rehabilitation hospital may wake up in the morning and proceeds to shave his face - only to be told later that he has only shaved half of his face.

Munchausen Syndrome:
Munchausen syndrome is a psychiatric disorder in which those affected fake disease, illness, or psychological trauma in order to draw attention or sympathy to themselves.

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