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Thread: Stammer or Stutter?

  1. #1
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    Default Stammer or Stutter?

    Are these words interchangeable or do they mean different things?

    I saw an old comment on a NYTimes article online:

    I was an absolutely chronic stammerer. This should not be confused with stutering. Does the psychiatrist group both of these ailments together? Maybe they should be. Are they related? I don’t know. With stammering the speaker gets “stuck” with a sound, usually a consonant. He will try in vain to get out the word but all he is faced with is silence. His face contorts as he tries and tries to say the word. The more self conscious he gets the worse it is. Stuttering is when the consonant or other sound is repeated over and over until the word come out. Like, c,c,c,c,c,c an you c, c,c,c, c,c , come over to play?

    A stammer will be, the k (long pause while trying to get out the sound) ichen is right through that door.
    Another mentioning of the difference
    Stutter, in the US, can sometimes be a medical or psychological condition you are born with and be chronic, whereas stammer happens when you are upset or surprised.
    I always thought they meant the same thing, except for stammer being the English (U.K) term and the other more common in North America. Also thought stammer was more formal to use.

    I could never say stutter; too many t's in there for me. Stammer is much easier. So would using stammer be correct in everyday cases? I don't want to give something the wrong impression about my speech impediment if these words have different meanings.

  2. #2
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    Stuttering (US) and stammering (UK) are the same thing - a chronic condition. In the UK, the word stuttering is also used, though less frequently.

    The distinctions made in the article seem like colloquialisms to me.

    As for the "c,c,c,c,c,c an you c, c,c,c, c,c , come over to play" vs "k (long pause while trying to get out the sound) ichen", I prefer the terms repetitions and blocks.
    Last edited by Otorongo; 08-13-2009 at 05:21 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yes, what Otorongo said. Stuttering is used in the USA, and Stammering in the UK. It is the same condition, just different terms for different parts of the world.

    c-c-c-c-c is repetition, and k with a long pause is a block. Blocks can also be silent, when you open your mouth and nothing comes out for awhile. Repetitions can also be whole word, like "can can can can can you come over...".


  4. #4
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    Thanks for the insight on the two terms.

  5. #5
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    when I talk about my stammering, I prefer to use the words 'speech difficulty'

  6. #6

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    I always thought they meant the same thing to. I prefer the word stutter to stammer so most of the time I will use that. On occasion though if I'm trying to explain to someone that I have a speech problem I will call it a stammer as I find that a little bit easier to say.

    On the stuttering forum I will occasionally see some people refer to the problem as studdering. Does anyone know anything about this?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Box of Clocks View Post
    On the stuttering forum I will occasionally see some people refer to the problem as studdering. Does anyone know anything about this?
    Isn't studdering like how people spell ridiculous "rediculous"? Seems to be a common spelling error rather than a difference in meaning.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bebop View Post
    I could never say stutter; too many t's in there for me. Stammer is much easier.
    Saying stutter is easier for me, because I get really stuck on the m's.

    I kinda knew the difference between a stammer and stutter, but this clears it up a bit. I stutter AND stammer so I don't have to specify, which I guess is a plus!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bebop View Post
    Isn't studdering like how people spell ridiculous "rediculous"? Seems to be a common spelling error rather than a difference in meaning.
    I think your probably right. I have only ever seen people say studdering/studder on the net. I have never actually heard anyone say it so that supports what you are saying about it just being a spelling error.

  10. #10

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    I thought that stammering and stuttering were simply two words for the same thing, one British, one American. It's a bit like "defence" and "defense".
    You English speakers should agree between yourself. Otherwise how can we reasonably learn english.
    If it continues like this, I will write in Finnish in this forum. At least, I know how many "n"s there are in the word.

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