On Stuttering

Topics: Speech disorder, Stuttering, Speech impediments Pages: 3 (1079 words) Published: November 17, 2011
Two Authors: same struggle
In the short stories, “On Stuttering,” by Edward Hoagland, and “Me Talk Pretty,” by David Sedaris, the authors discuss how they dealt with their speech impediments. They wrote about the way they handled their difficulties with speech, the different strategies they used, and how their limitations affected how they felt about themselves. Although the two author’s handicaps were not identical, they both used similar approaches to overcome them. After 60 years of stuttering, Hoagland reminisces about his struggles and triumphs to overcome his stuttering. While attending school, he learned that, “Life can become a matter of measuring the importance of anything you have to say.” He felt that it was better to say nothing or chuckle at everyone else’s conversation instead of subjecting them to watching him struggle to expel his opinion. He learns at a young age to be a good listener, but found it hard not to say anything when he knew more about the subject or if he disagreed with the speaker. Over time he realized that self-confidence could reduce his stuttering. If he became angered, sexually aroused or received affection his stuttering was almost diminished. As he developed relationships and trust, he could talk without difficulty. There was even a girl that he developed a relationship with that ceased his stuttering. However, as the relationship started to fail, he again started to stutter. He compares it to a sort of football game he is playing in his head, with the tacklers living there too. If he pauses to figure out how to describe something, this will

give them time to pull him down. Hoagland still refused to let his stuttering control his life. He is able to get in to the Army by telling them that he only stuttered because he was “nervous,” and goes on to become a college professor. There are times when his stuttering caused him to be scared, such as when his daughter thought this is the way...
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