Title: Words Fail Us: In Defence of Disfluency


Jonty Poole is Director of BBC Arts, amongst other significant  roles, and also spent fifteen years of his life in and out of speech therapy for his stutter. In this book, he explores a range of speech issues such as aphasia and Tourette’s and then tells the stories of ‘creatively disfluent’ people such as Lewis Carroll. He describes his relationship with his stutter and how it affected his life until he developed a new perspective on this aspect of his life.

This is a very personal text in some respects, but it is also wide ranging and includes chapters such as:

  • Extraordinary Minds
  • Virtuous Disfluency
  • Speech Acts of Resistance
  • Communication Diversity

Claypole maintains that, what are referred to as speech disorders are ‘simply forms of vocal and linguistic diversity’, and he makes a strong case for embracing them rather than resisting and stigmatising them.

An excellent read.  

Author: J. Claypole
Publisher: Wellcome Collection
ISBN: 9781-78816-171-8

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