Friday, June 08, 2012

Does Tim Poe fake his stutter?

EVERYONE is asking the question..

Tim Poe has told lies about his life as a soldier, and provided a fake picture. He never got the Purple Medal for war injuries. But he seems to have been involved with the Army in some respects. No doubt the full story will emerge very soon.

So let's study his stuttering. As I wrote, I have never heard of a similar story, i.e. a non-stroke brain injury with such clear symptoms and no other apparent deficits at first sight. However, as his injury story is wrong, this fits with my observation that this case would have been unique. But he could have gotten an injury from somewhere else, too.

The real question to me is a) whether he stutters or not, and b) did he exaggerate his stuttering. I have to say that at first sight he sounds rather authentic. He stutters at the right places. However, as I replayed his speech over and over again, I noticed that his non-stuttered speech is very very smooth and controlled. And his stuttering is rather short and does not propagate into tensed non-stuttered speech. So he does not seem to feel a lot of emotional stress during the stuttered syllables. But he did have secondary symptoms during the stuttered syllables. So I am wondering about whether a middle-of-the-road theory is possible. He is a stutterer, knows how it feels to stutters, but has exaggerated his stuttering. Maybe he stuttered as a child. Or he is just a very good actor. Or he really did stutter as severely, and just invented the rest of the story to feel better about himself. And by telling that lie in a small social circle, for example with his fiancée, he might have had to keep it up as he entered the contest and then it just got bigger.

I have no idea. Except that he can sing. And his confident and calm singing must be the result of many many years of practise. His story that his therapist told him to sing in the shower and then he discovered his voice is not adding up, in my view.

And did he also learn to play the guitar while singing in the shower?? ;-)

But who cares... he is famous... and we are not!

P.S. I just listened to an interview with his fiancée. She sounds genuine, but just knows him from after the "injury". Either he had another brain injury and mixes up stuff. Or he completely made up the story...

12 comments:

Joeri said...

Not contributing to his story:
http://www.tmz.com/2012/06/07/timothy-poe-americas-got-talent-soldier-photo-afghanistan/

Joeri said...

I see now you already had the link. sorry!

Pascal NL said...

Is he faking his stutter... Maybe! His voice sounds very self assured. What I often recognize in stutterers is an audible fear or insecurity about "difficult" words. This dude however sounds pretty confident. His voice sounds deep and powerful, coming from the lower part of the lungs. Insecure people tend to breathe superficially and only use the upper chest part when speaking. I don't know if he's faking all of it, but exaggerating the stutter certainly might be beneficial in the setting of a contest. There is also the case of the Dutch ms. Montreal who sounds rather different and more authentic in terms of stuttering than this guy.

I do believe fake stutterers exist but I think it's just a handful of guys with a weird sense of humour. I had a teacher in school who enjoyed to stutter for fun, even though wasn't a stutterer.

Joeri said...

Another interesting explanation on this site:

It appears that Mr. Poe has indeed been a life-long stutterer and was so embarrassed that he felt he need to create an elaborate lie about his circumstances.

Tom Weidig said...

@Joeri: That is also a theory that I expressed in my first post, but forgot to put it up here...

That would be great as it would create such a stir that at the end of the day people would understand the trouble that people who stutter go through.

we have to wait...

joeri van Ormondt said...

@Tom: It would create a stir and a good thing for people who stutter! Sad for him though....
At least it looks like the story he's telling isn't the complete one....

Pascal NL said...

@Tom Friday, 8 June 2012 16:46:00 CEST
Seems just a little weird to me to make something up to explain your stuttering. Someone has a stutter... and that's pretty much all there's to it. Why lie? It's not your fault. For me at least, I don't care anymore if someone doesn't accept my stutter. I guess that's his problem then lol. Good for Tom Poe though he got his fame.

Tom Weidig said...

Tim Poe not Tom Poe! I have nothing to do with it! I can't sing well!

Jon said...

I've only had contact with one neurologic stutterer, so I'm not familiar with the range of symptoms and how it might differ from early onset stuttering. If I was asked to determine whether he was an early onset stutterer, I'd be suspicious. Unlike Tom, I don't think it sounds authentic, although I can't rule out the possibility that some stutterers might process like him.

Notice that most of his 'stutters' are whole word repeats, typically on single syllable words. That is not classic stuttering. Stuttering usually occurs within a syllable, breaking the syllable into two parts. For instance, T-t-t-tim, rather than Tim-Tim-Tim. He very rarely does anything else. This would be exactly what I would expect from a non-stutterer trying to copy stuttering without a detailed analysis of stuttered speech. We think in terms of words, not individual sounds. It seems logical - although it's wrong - that stuttered speech would be word-repeated speech.

This proves nothing. I would add that the most famous openly stuttering public figure in the United States is probably Mel Tillis, a country singer. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

I have had contact with a fake PWS who used the tool during university to seek assistance in conducting assessments sometimes in a much easier way than a non-PWS

Anonymous said...

Ok for all of you nay saying morons who have never been involved in an explosion....get a life he served his country sacrificed his health for it and all you can do is talk smack....we need to send people like you on route clearence missions.....oh BTW research tbi and see what it says...and yes I'm a soldier myself.

Felissa Coombes said...

Tim pom .. you cant go sing and solider .. you got stoke with stutter ur lips .. its your brain injury this.. you thought cheating or lies .. you know slower speech this eh... iamsorry this ... you got cause brain injury thank you