[to top of second column]
"I just kind of thought ... well, maybe she did speak that way before," Tichert said. "And then, when I was watching the news, they had her on there, and I go, 'Oh my gosh, she does my taxes.'"
Butler's co-workers at H&R Block noticed the change, but most didn't ask her directly; they didn't want to be rude. Some presumed she was taking voice lessons or had "visited (her) homeland."
Since mid-April, when a client put her in touch with a local news station, Butler has been engaged in a swirl of media activity. The grandmother with five children of her own had never been to New York until NBC flew her out for the "Today" show.
The Butlers said most of their time was spent fielding interviews and going from one meeting with reporters to the next.
Aside from the media attention, Karen Butler said her life hasn't changed much. She's less shy because of all the questions she's been asked. For a while her family treated the accent like a "new toy," asking her to say certain words or phrases.
She can't hear her own accent when she speaks, but Butler said she can feel herself forming words differently. She talks about her daughter, Jamie, as a "twenty-VUN"-year-old. She said the accent has softened over time and was initially strongly "Transylvanian" sounding.
Every now and then, Butler's daughter Cindy Miller, 36, calls her mom's cellphone just to listen to the voicemail. Butler hasn't changed it since the procedure.
"After all this time I like to hear it. I like to remember what it was, what my voice sounded like," Butler said. "I don't feel different inside at all. I'm the same old me I ever was."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor