Communication Disorder In My Cousin Vinny

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Background Information
The 1992 comedy crime film, My Cousin Vinny, written by Dale Launer and directed by Jonathon Lynn portrays the communication disorder known as stuttering. Stuttering is a fluency disorder in which the rhythm and flow of speech is disrupted and differs significantly from what is socially accepted as ‘normal’. Stuttering has proven to be one of the most common communication disorders portrayed in media and literature; however, the reason behind including a stutter (ranging from barely there to extremely excessive) in a character’s script tends to vary.
Why the Stutter Matters
The screenwriter for My Cousin Vinny seems to have included the reference to this communication disorder to provide a comedic, shocking, and unusual
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Movies have a habit of showing individuals with communication disorders, such as stuttering, working in low-end, minimum-wage jobs. This jobs frequently have little to no social interaction and very few opportunities of interacting with customers. Another common stereotype is that individuals who stutter have a below average intelligence. My Cousin Vinny shows the exact opposite through the defense lawyer. It would be unusual and/or unexpected to see stutterers in the courtroom. These individuals would select to have jobs with less public speaking and less opportunity to be ‘judged’. This detail in the movie may be to some extent inaccurate. Yet, there is no law preventing stutterers from becoming lawyers. So who is to say that individuals with communication disorders would not or could not choose a career in this…show more content…
Stress can cause anyone to feel anxiety. Whether the anxiety is minimal or severe depends on each individual person. Under stress, it is common and acceptable for people’s voice to falter. Speakers under stress might tense the muscles used to produce speech, increasing their vocal pitch. That generally wouldn’t happen in a stress-less situation. Typically when under stress people talk more rapid. This occasionally causes them to stumble over words or get stuck on a syllable. More often than not, they tend to repeat words or phrases as they struggle to talk, present, etc. under the stress. Another common ‘symptom’ under stress is adding interjections, such as “like”, “uhm” and “uh” during speech. These are considered normal and acceptable dysfluencies. The simple task of saying colors in front of an audience was used as a study. They found that under stress, pressure, anxiety and whatever else is felt during public speaking, non-stutterers went from zero percent dysfluencies to four percent. On the other hand, those who normally stuttered went from one percent to nine percent dysfluencies. (Perkins) One interesting fact, is that stutterers are able to talk normally to babies, children, and animals. These audiences are nonthreatening and the speaker is at ease. It is also common for stutterers to talk aloud to themselves without or with very little

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