Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Mark: Question Time

[Guest blogger Mark Bulg writes:] I'd like to start my contribution to The Stuttering Brain with questions, rather than answers. There are two questions that seem to be favorite discussion-starters in the stuttering therapeutic community, perhaps to the point of cliche. The first asks: If there was a pill that cured stuttering, would you take it? The second, sometimes phrased as a statement, is: Is stuttering a gift? I’d like to rephrase those questions, and start a new discussion.

Question number one: If there was a pill that caused persistent developmental stuttering, how many non-stutterers could you convince to take it?

Question number two: If stuttering is a gift, whom would you give it to?


Anonymous said...

Tom - you obviously intend this ironically.

Your second question makes sense from that perspective. It's clear that the question "if stuttering is a gift, who would you give it to" flows logically from the premise that "stuttering is a gift", and this reformulated question is intended to give the lie to the notion that stuttering truly is a "gift". The reformulated question logically flows from the same premise as the original question.

But the first question - even in an ironic context, I don't understand the point. The premise of the question ("if there was a pill that cured stuttering...") is presumably that stuttering is something that people want to get rid of. But the reformulated question ("if there was a pill that caused stuttering...") seems based on the opposite premise.

I appreciate your attempt to be clever, but I don't think it works for the magic pill question.

... or am I taking your humor too seriously?

Anonymous said...

i give it to obama and palin

Tom Weidig said...

I did not write it. It's Mark who wrote it.

Gustaf said...

I can think of lots of questions to ask a biologist about stuttering! Here's one from the top of my head: if stuttering is genetic, why do we still stutter in our time? Wouldn't selection pressure weed it out because of our disadvantage in meeting partners for breeding? :-)

Mark B. said...

I'll take credit for this one, and it is not meant ironically. In fact, they are different wording of the same question. You are welcome to answer them any way you want. I have simply turned two common questions around to elicit discussion.

Both original questions are clearly intended to be counter-intuitive wisdom - to make a point by prompting for an answer that goes against a visceral response. I have rephrased them to remove the counter-intuitive element. I am asking, simply: if you answer positively to the standard formulations of these two questions, then will you answer positively to my reformulations?

I notice that Anon. picked at the questions, but didn't answer them. A standard rhetorical device that is an answer in itself.

Anonymous said...

there may be some evolutionary advantages to stuttering.

Stuttering as a necessary response to survival.

The question should be how come only 1% of the world stutters? Shouldn't more people stutter.

Anonymous said...

stuttering is both genetic and environmental (epigenetics).

So stuttering can't be weeded out over time, only if you develop a vaccine to prevent stuttering....right, Mark?

But then you would still have normal disfluencies....

Mark B. said...

I'll be discussing evolution and stuttering in a future entry. The question is a reasonable one.

Anonymous said...

i would like many people to experience what it is like to stutter..maybe just for a couple of days

Anonymous said...

Thats where the stuttering suppository comes in!

ig88sir said...

Question number one: If there was a pill that caused persistent developmental stuttering, how many non-stutterers could you convince to take it?

Question number two: If stuttering is a gift, whom would you give it to?
My parents and terrible doctors for ignoring it when it began.

Thank you drive thru..

Anonymous said...

Ah - A chance to Hate!

To question # 1 - No one.

To question # 2 -
Let me see... To all the people who laugh and bully those of us who stutter. To the SLP's and professional boards in the self help groups that don't stutter. To the SFA professionals and slp's that don't stutter. To all school therapists who don't stutter that therapize children who stutter. To all ASHA members who don't stutter. To all the "experts" on stuttering who don't stutter. To all those specialists who don't stutter. To the Oswald Aussie's. To all fluency bigot's. Are there more? I'm beginning to feel I need to hurry and wrap up those pill presents. Please let me know when the Drug research guys in stuttering have their evidenced based/efficacy proven pills available for the public to purchase.

Satyendra said...

Clever reformulations- yes, they make you think laterally; both questions and responses are full of a deep humor!
My answers:
Q1- I could convince at least 2-3 very sincere friends..
Q2- To many teachers, SLPs, authorities who dont stammer, but are convinced that they understand the issue well..