Stammering and Stuttering

A personal experience of a lifetime's stammering

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King George V1
The father of our present Queen Elizabeth, had quite a bad one.Being of nervous character, he was 'thrown into' the Crown by the abdication of his elder brother Edward V11 to marry Mrs Simpson in 1936.
It was something he feared, a life in full view of the public, radio broadcasting to make and all the other functions which go along with royalty.
His Christmas speeches were made in almost slow motion and his worst experience was making the Official opening speech of the LondonOlympics in 1948.
It was something he never conquered, but 'the Reluctant King' did his duty to his country and the public were politely acceptable of it

James Stewart
The great American film actor had a bad stammer when he was a younger man. He cured it by placing a stone inside his mouth and it is for this reason (apparently) that he had that voice which everyone mimicked so well. Not in fun, but in awe.

Patrick Campbell
He was a career journalist, but became publicly known through his regular captaincy of a team in TV's 'Call my Bluff' in which three team members would have to describe a somewhat strange word for the opposition to choose the correct one.
He did not, well could not, disguise one of the worst stammers you could imagine. But it added to the idea of the game and somehow he got through.

Claudius Ceasar
Well before our time I know, but this is diaried and logged by many, even by Claudius himself.
Some may have seen the classic TV series of Claudius which starred Derek Jacobi, who played the role in great style.
The nice part about the story is that to those around him, Claudius was a stammering idiot, yet under the outward appearance lay a great brain and a strong leader albeit not a strong person within himself.

Others include the author Lewis Carroll who was refused entry to the Priesthood because of his impediment; Isacc Newton (laws of gravity) and even Sir Winston Churchill had one.

In the media, stutters have often been written into film and TV. "A fish called Wanda" had Michael Palin buffling around and making us all laugh.

The one thing that binds these people together is that most of us know them for their own particular characteristic way of talking and often the body language with which they speak.
Those in the Acting Industry who have overcome stammers have made it big time!

After the film, Michael Palin endorsed his name to the charity now known as 'The Michael Palin Centre for Childhood Stammers' which is one of the leading Centres in the country.

The important thing is to laugh along with it, it's only human instinct to laugh at someone elses affliction sometimes - so what, if you have one, you're the same, if not better than them!

Ed Balls - Labour Politician

Has overcome a stammer to speak well to the House of Commons and media in general. Active supporter of Stuttering Charities and visits them a lot.


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Fair enough, they laughed - so did the stammerers !!

Our present Queen's father was thrown into his job as King. His stammer made him petrified of public speaking, which many said got the better of him.
For him it was duty though.

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