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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.

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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