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Speech and personality

Speech is inherently more indelible than writing also because it is a more vivid medium. When we speak, listeners don't just see our words, they see us--how we hold and move ourselves. Even if we only hear someone over the phone or on the radio ... still we experience the texture of her talk; the rhythms, emphases, hesitations, and other tonalities of speech which give us a dramatized sense of her character or personality. (Elbow, "The Shifting Relationships between Speech and Writing, Writing Material 139)

It is perhaps for this reason that speech is still the preferred method of communication for many situations. Politicians who are trying to sway voters, ads that use celebrities to try to persuade consumers to buy particular products, etc.; these are all situations where the force of personality of the speaker is at work as much as his or her words.



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Yes, politicians understand our culture and recognize that listening is the lazy, passive way that people like to get their information.

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