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According to a story in today's guardian, a serious migraine can cause a permanent French accent.

According to a story in today's guardian, a serious migraine can cause a permanent French accent.

I have to confess that I found this idea very funny. Then it occurred to me that for the person concerned it was probably fairly devastating. So much of our identity is tied up in what we say, and how we sound. Such a condition could make you unrecognisable to yourself and to others, relationships might change, depression could set in, and your life could spiral out of control. It is serious.

And yet, does it cease to be funny? As George Bernard Shaw once put it: Life doesn't cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. And while foreign accent syndrome is serious, it is surely not as serious as death.

In this respect, like many others, I experience some degree of polyphasia. I recognise that the condition is serious, and yet I still find it funny. Is that ok? Or I am being unforgivably insensitive to the women concerned?

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