I overheard this interesting conversation between a Communication expert and a young B.Tech student, who I think, stammered but communicated quite well:
Student: What is it that happens to me sometime? and why?
Expert: You mean "stammering"? You see some genes cause speech center in our brain to develop in such a peculiar way that...
Student: You mean my father, who also talks like me- gave me his genes to me and not to my brother?
Expert: Well, your father did not do it on purpose but the way genes get distributed, sometime ..
Student: So, you mean to say that it is a genetic disease?
Expert: No, no, no- you see, genes are not important- but when you speak in a particular way over the years, you develop a manner..
Student: You mean it is a habit?
Expert: No, no- try and understand: when people react when you stumble, it makes you develop a mindset..
Student: You mean it is a mental health issue?
Expert: Of course not. And remember : it is only the "crazy" people who change the world (-the expert made an air quote gesture stylishly -).. But that is not the point. It is the society which cheers when Marlon Brando speaks with a horrible accent but ridicules Porky the pig, when he stutters! Why does society reacts differently?
Student: So, you mean society is at fault for my stammering. The society has stigmatised a normal variation in speech behaviour. It is a social evil, can we say then?
Expert: No, no- dont go that far. Society can say anything. They can say that our politicians are corrupt but who cares? But when they say- go get your stammering fixed then we will give you a job.. Now, that is a different matter. Isn't it?
Student: You mean to say, there is politics involved here? People ganging up on one poor stammerer in the play ground? and in the interview? Should we make a political party, burn some tyres and block some highways?
Expert: Please dont talk of burning things here. I am an asthmatic. I get my wheezing attacks when they burn the rubble on the other side of the moon. In the first place, why are you so interested in stammering? You are talking fine.. Are you concerned about your father? Is that the reason? In that case you better send him.
The student looked confused and finally went away. I kept wondering: do I also talk like that expert sometimes? doing exactly opposite of communication?
Anyway, I had a good laugh afterwards about the whole conversation and understood why communication is more important than just talking in English!
Excellent Sir.. this post almost covers all the prevailing mindets about stammering....
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