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Differences between Speech and Writing Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 6 July 2017

Differences between Speech and Writing

We can alter our speech according to audience, purpose and context as well as altering text for a certain audience. Neither speech nor writing is grater then the other as both can be of different qualities. Occasionally speech is more relaxed however can have more power than text. Text and speech can both be formal or informal. The general spontaneous conversation is an example of unplanned speech, a conversation between two friends. The conversation takes place face to face with no audience.

The speech is transient, and utterances are part of the spoken words that connect other parts of the sentence. As the speech is quite relaxed with no pressure to talk the environment is comfortable, it is just a relaxed conversation between two friends on a Sunday morning. The conversation is informal, as it contains slang words such as ‘dead’, ‘footie’, also contains words that are not standard English, such as utterances; ‘erm’, ‘ooh’. These would not make grammatical sense if put into written form, and are confined to speech, because of the way humans talk.

The structure is loose; utterances break up the sentence, and help the speaker to readjust the thing they are going to say in their head, before they actually say it out loud. The conversation is colloquial, and therefore words are changed and altered to suit people’s speech patterns such as ‘min’, or ‘hearin’. The written text however, has a structure, has been planned and the words are separated into paragraphs, according to the context. The sentences within the whole piece have a much more solid structure containing information as well as news.

‘Dario kept with the same team that beat Crystal Palace on Tuesday night so that meant starting places for both 16 year old Billy Jones and Luke Varney. ‘ punctuation and layout are used to mark the grammatical boundaries of the sentences. The piece has a wide based audience. Mainly the fans of Crewe Alex will be interested; especially those who did not attended the game. It may also attract neutral sport fans as well as the fans that did attend the game. The conversation between the two people however, might have been private, and couldn’t be repeated for other people to hear.

The written text is formal, even though not as formal as a letter or an essay, has an informative, formal feel to it. The written piece can also be referred back too if a reader requires to. Written text, most of the time, is more formal than spoken text. Unless the spoken text is planned written text contains better Standard English, and the flow of the words is smooth. Although planned speech can change from a script when converted to speech. Speech contains more slang and can be more abusive.

When speaking you have less time to think about what you are going to say than when writing it down. You can normally gain control of a conversation and express yourself appropriately. The spoken text doesn’t have one particular subject, and the field tends to vary, depending on the subject matter. It goes from talking about ‘Motley’, to ‘The Vine’ and then onto the football match. The subject is constantly changing. It stops the conversation becoming stale. The written text is focused on one specific area, the match report.

It is quite confined in the content and subject it talks about, the subject is football, which does not change, yet it does add outside information about Dario keeping the same team as on the Tuesday night. There is no discourse between narrator and reader; it is a one-way piece of writing. This piece of writing also tends to give facts about the particular subject, not just opinions and explanations. The piece has emotional balance. It adds some emotion into it. Language is shown differently by the constant change in tone, volume, pace, rhythm and stress of the words that are spoken.

The prosodic features of the conversation make it more interesting, and more variable in the way it sounds. Paralinguistic speech helps to show emotion through the way you say certain words, ‘NO’, and ‘Oi! ‘ Extensions to words can change the emotion and tone in someone’s voice, such as ‘Yeeesss… ‘ They create a sudden change in the flow of the conversation, and the speech pattern is now varied. Expletives show emotion, and encourage a response from the person it is aimed at, which could be an expletive aimed back at the addressee, or can incline them to do something, ‘fuck off!

‘ Interruptions can change the flow of conversation dramatically. The sentences in the written text are in Standard English. It contains more facts of the event in the correct time when they occurred, the language within the written text is that associated with football. The players are referred to by their surnames names; there are nouns with a football semantic field, such as ‘cross’, ‘attack’, etc. The language and choice of words is very restricted, because it has been written as a report. The conversation language is different.

There is no set subject, and the words within the conversation have no set connotations relating to one particular area, because of the conversation being spontaneous. Expressing ideas and opinions in writing is different to expressing them in speech. The sentences have an orderly flow, and links between the sentences are seen, for example written down ‘Former Alex favourite Rob Hulse’ sounds ok, however if you were to verbally say this in a chatty conversation then it would sound strange. The manner of the conversation can also give a clue as to what the relationship between the two people are.

One person mentions two other friends ‘Pete and Gary’, the other person knows who them, so they are obviously friends, it is quite a personal conversation, as it involves personal friends and personal football jokes, e. g. ‘stoke are ace’ etc. The way in which they speak to each other is very chatty, and they both follow the direction in which the conversation is going in. The differences between writing and speech are obvious. On the other hand, written texts can imitate spoken words, and sound spontaneous when spoken, and a speech can be planned, and sound more formal than normal everyday conversation.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

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  • Date: 6 July 2017

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