This week I'm writing about looney tunes and the speech impediments of some of the characters.This is a topic that I've seen on many blogs and other websites,and usually the same info with the person's opinion on it.I've noticed that most if not all of the opinions are negative.Some talk about how it encourages young children so pronounce words wrong on purpose,or how it's "annoying".None of the opinions are from personal experience,and that's where mine is different.
I have a neurological disorder called hydrocephalus.Hydrocephalus is when spinal fluid collects in the skull instead of draining.Since I was 17 months old,I've had a shunt to drain the spinal fluid.Hydrocephalus can effect people in many ways,but not in the same way for everyone.One of the ways it's effected me that may not effect a lot of others is that I have a lack of muscle control.I don't know what exactly caused it,it could be by the condition itself or the brain surgery I had as a toddler to fix the problem.The lack of muscle control caused me to have to work harder to learn and improve tasks that are either easy to learn,or at least not something that takes years.One of them is something that I still struggle with and has gotten worse again lately.I have a speech impediment that could be described as a slur more than anything else.I couldn't speak at all until I started taking speech therapy in preschool,instead I communicated with my parents and my sister with a form of sign language that I taught myself that only we could understand.It took a couple more years before I could speak in full sentences and I couldn't speak well enough to be understood my most people until I was ten.Then a few years after that I got to the point where although I still had a slur,speech therapy wasn't necessary because it was more important at then to stay in my classes during that time instead.
I knew I was different in childhood,it just that I wasn't aware of what people really thought of me because of it.It's not something that basically anyone whose written about this subject can understand,but watching looney tunes as a kid made me feel a little more normal.Even if they were cartoon characters,it was something I could relate to.That doesn't mean that it made me think they were real,or that it meant I shouldn't try to not get better.
If you watched you may think that most of the characters have speech impediments but in reality only a handful of them really do.Some of the characters that are commonly thought to have one but really don't are Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn.These characters have accents (Texan and southern) and they are mistaken for a stutter.The characters who are at least meant to have a speech impediment are Daffy Duck,Tweety Bird,Porky Pig,Elmer Fudd,and Sylvester.Daffy,Tweety and Sylvester have a lisp,Porky has a stutter,and Elmer has rhotacism.Other characters that are thought to have speech impediments but have a accent instead are Foghorn Leghorn,Yosemite Sam,and Pepe Le Pew.The Tasmanian Devil may also be thought to have one,but his character doesn't really speak English in the first place,instead it's mostly grunts,growls and rasps.
The reason behind at least one of the character's speech impediments is that the voice actor really did have one.Joe Dougherty,the original voice actor of Porky Pig really did have a stutter that he couldn't control.Although it caused him to be replaced early on,Porky still had a stutter although it wasn't as severe.His speech impediment because a unique part of Merry melodies (now looney tunes) and the result was creating other characters with speech impediments or accents.
The first link below is a list of television characters with speech impediments,and the last two is where I got some minor information.Wikipedia may not be the best source,but it works when it comes to what I needed to find out.Thanks for reading :)