278 SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING
It is a signal fact that Alexander Melville Bell has
written a glowing testimonial for a stammering-
school whose method he condemns as the resort of
charlatans.1 No one would doubt the good faith of
the distinguished phoneticist; but it is evident that
if he could be deceived as to the methods and merits
of an institution, the opinion of the average uninitiated
person must be absolutely worthless.
The non-stammerer, even if he makes the most
careful inquiries, is usually misled by the amelioration
of stammering under the various systems of training.
The amelioration, however, is nothing more than the
temporary disappearance of physical stammering;
and it does not constitute even the beginning of a
radical cure. But the untrained mind is impressed
by the overt and the spectacular; and in the case
of stammering it is affected by things foreign to
But even trained observers are often deceived where
stammering is concerned. It is interesting, to note
that the worthless "Bates' Appliances" were awarded
the First Premium and the Scott Legacy Premium
by the Franklin Institute. These same trinkets
1 The school indorsed employs the time-beating method, concern-
ing which Bell says ("Faults of Speech," 5th ed., p. 12): "The
stammerer's difficulty is: where to turn for effective assistance.
Certainly not . . . to any whose'system' involves drawling, singing,
sniffling, whistling, stamping, beating time — all of which expedients
have constituted the 'curative' means of various charlatans!"