Cluttering of speech

Cluttering of speech

What is cluttering?

Cluttering is what happens when speech becomes literally cluttered with faulty phrasing and unrelated words to the extent that it is unintelligible. Unlike stuttering, which involves hesitation and repetition over key words, cluttering usually includes effortless repetition of syllables and phrases. The affected person is often not aware of any communication difficulties.

Cluttering is a disturbance in the fluency of speech. People who clutter often speak at a more rapid rate than normal, which causes them to stumble and double back in their attempt to impart meaning. It is characterised by a poor attention span, perceptual weakness and poorly organised thinking.

What causes people to clutter their speech?

There may be a medical reason for cluttering. Any ailment which affects concentration can induce cluttering behaviour. Equally, the use of prescription drugs which affect concentration span may cause a bout of cluttering.

Abusing substances such as cannabis, which have a negative effect on concentration and perception, may cause longer lasting cluttering of speech.

What is the difference between cluttering and stuttering?

Cluttering is a more general confusion of speech than stuttering. While the repetition that is characteristic of stuttering may be present, it need not fall on opening words and key words in a sentence. In cluttering, meaning may also be interrupted by irrelevant terms and by using multiple phrases to describe the same thing.

The difference between the two is perhaps best illustrated by an example:

Where can I get help with cluttering of speech?

If you suspect that your speech is becoming significantly more cluttered than might be considered as normal, you should consult your doctor.

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