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His correspondence online has been honest, full of his stuttering sincerity.

Does the adjective "stuttering" here mean "speaking with difficulty"? stammering?

Here's the full passage: https://www.bookreporter.com/reviews/luster/excerpt

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  • Link is behind a paywall.
    – m_a_s
    Jun 6, 2021 at 18:49
  • @m_a_s, inserted a new link.
    – MTX
    Jun 6, 2021 at 18:55

2 Answers 2

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I think the implication here is that, because he is not a good writer, he is not able to write a convincing lie — and so what he writes is clearly honest.

There is some evidence that this is an expression that has some currency. I've found:

The best track by far on this album comes early, with a reworking of Skip James' "I'm So Glad." It is a spirited rendition, infused with a spluttering sincerity and ramshackle guitar work.

The suggestion in this quote is that the unskilled guitar playing is full of honest "spirit".

or

He, Oscar Wilde, reduced to stuttering sincerity, said: 'This. This. This, then, is Utica.'

Oscar Wilde was a famous wit, and very skilled with words (and probably a very good lier) but is here unable to think of a clever lie, and has to stutter out the truth.

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Stuttering does not always refer to speech. For example it could simply indicate a lack of fluency (similar to a sputtering engine). But in this context, it is implied that sincerity comes in waves, as it would from someone who is exited---offering sincerity in frequent, perhaps short, bursts.

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