What Does a Grapefruit Have to do with Stuttering?

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Re: hiding the fruit

From: Kristin Pelczarski
Date: 12 Oct 2008
Time: 15:38:50 -0500
Remote Name:


Thanks for your question. Although I used the concept of visually hiding a grapefruit, I didn't intend to suggest that there was a strong visual component to stuttering. Rather, sometimes the use of a "non-speech" example can shed some light on speech behaviors because there are fewer emotions attached to the non-speech behavior. This can more easily allow a person who considers themselves a covert stutterer to see how much effort really goes into the act of avoiding Ė be it avoiding stuttering by changing words, or concealing a piece of fruit. Both the analogy and actual covert stuttering require an individual to constantly monitor something - either visually scanning the room for possible movements, or in the case of stuttering, "scanning ahead" in one's mind to look out for upcoming stutters - and avoid them. Sometimes the act of avoiding may come off to the listener (or observer, in keeping with the analogy) as more strange than a stutter (using the wrong word or pretending like you forgot what you were going to say). That isn't an experience most fluent people have had and the visual analogy can help others understand a little bit more. So really, the analogy can be modified for different audiences but really isnít about a visual component to stuttering. Hope that clears it up a bit. Thanks for participating in this conference!

Last changed: 10/12/08