Letters to the Editor: To stutterers, Joe Biden deserves a medal for being in public life

Joe Biden speaks
Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak in Wilmington, Del., on March 12.
(Getty Images)

To the editor: As a lifelong stutterer, I totally sympathize with former Vice President Joe Biden and his quick word substitutions or quirky phrasing to overcome a possible tongue block. Those are tricks I’ve used many times myself, and as an unforeseen consequence when I was a child, I developed a vocabulary well beyond my years.

Whenever I heard or read a new word that would work as a substitute for words I had trouble with, I would add that to my repertoire. Other kids and even teachers thought I was showing off, but I wasn’t. I was just trying to avoid stammering on an otherwise simple word.

People who would never dream of making fun of a disabled person seem to have no such qualms when it comes to stuttering. I’m pretty sure Biden knows what I’m talking about, and if you want to hand out medals for courage, he deserves one.

It takes a lot of guts for a stutterer to enter public life, stand up on stage before large audiences and deliver speeches knowing that one slip or failure will result in ridicule.


Paul Taylor, Desert Hot Springs


To the editor: I appreciate Dan Roche’s op-ed article so very much. As a retired speech pathologist, I observed the struggles of so many who are challenged with stuttering.

While Biden may not be an eloquent speaker, he has definitely taught himself to master his stuttering in an excellent way. I admire how well he has done.


I wish more of our population understood how difficult this problem is.

Carol Kohler, Agoura Hills


To the editor: I was one of the ignorant people who wondered if Biden was in the early stages of dementia because of some of the things he said.


Roche’s clarification of the methods Biden uses to avoid stuttering, and how using them sometimes makes him sound somewhat incoherent, needs to be broadcast more widely. I hope Biden will speak up and explain this to all voters.

Mary Carlson, Mission Viejo