Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chasing the Fluency God

Who coined the phrase in the title above - do you know? I'd like to see how it was originally used. It seems to be one of those memes that everyone uses, but no one defines.

If you happen to find this post a year from now (1/27/10) and know the answer, don't hesitate to leave a comment - I'll get notice of it.

*** Here we have a usage from August, 1998. Let's see if we can go back in time from there:


  1. Mark - Here's a 1999 reference in the NY Times.

    Although this is later than your quote, it's still fairly early. This was the only reference I found for "fluency god" for the entire NYT archives since 1851.

    Google Books has a couple of 1999 references.

    Also a couple on Google Scholar, though undated.

  2. Ora - no surprise to find Peter in the NY Times piece - he's the first one I ever heard use the term. ;-) I think I'll just post on the Stuttertalk Facebook group page and ask Peter.

  3. I think the phase is meant to acknowledge we stutter because we don't have enough control of our bodies to be fluent, so trying to be fluent is a waste of energy. It's just a weird way of saying it and is kind of insulting to people whose goal is to improve their speech.