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Stuttering etiquette: Maintain eye contact with a stutterer when he or she is stuck on a word, says Canadian Stuttering Association co-founder Jaan Pill. Looking away, he says, "communicates embarrassment" and telegraphs that "the person speaking is not entirely part of the human race." Let the person finish; do not try to finish the sentence yourself.

Causes: Stuttering is a neurological disorder; it is not psychological.

337,000: The number of people who stutter in Canada.

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One in 20: The proportion of people who stutter in childhood when learning to speak; the majority of them are boys. Most outgrow it, leaving one in 100 adults as stutterers.

Famous stutterers: King George VI, Aesop, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), Marilyn Monroe.

Jane Taber

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About the Author
Ontario politics reporter

Jane Taber is a reporter at Queen’s Park. After spending three years reporting from the Atlantic, she has returned to Ontario and back to writing about her passion, politics. She spent 25 years covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. More

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