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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2 Answers 2


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".


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.


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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