CUTTING OFF YOUR TONGUE
Reuters/MSNBC have a strange one:
Chop a centimeter or so off your tongue and become a fluent English speaker. That is the hope that recently drove one mother to take her six-year-old son for surgery aimed at ridding him of his Korean accent when speaking the language of choice in global business.
DRIVEN BY A desire to give their kids an edge in an increasingly competitive society, a surprising number of South Koreans have turned to the knife in a seemingly drastic bid to help their offspring perfect their English.
“Those who have a short frenulum (a strap of tissue linking the tongue to the floor of the mouth) can face problems pronouncing some characters due to a disturbance in lateral movements of the tongue,” said Bae Jung-ho, an oral surgeon at Seoul’s Yonsei Severance Hospital, who operated on the six-year-old last month.
Bae said it takes about five minutes to complete the operation, called a frenotomy, which slices 1 to 1.5 cm (about half an inch) off the frenulum to make the tongue more flexible.