“We learn speech as infants - from parents who love us and naturally reward us for speaking at all.” - (p. 137) Elbow, Writing Materials

Speech is easy. Writing is hard. Anyone can say random words. It doesn’t really have any rules. People are less likely to be questioned or rebuked for using slang in their speech. But this is not the case in writing. In speech, slang is often accepted as being part of a person’s personality or culture. In writing, however, it is an error.


Speech is definately a lot less formal. My sister was having issues last year in her CP English 12 class because she "writes like she talks." Can you imagine if we all did that? Think of all the profanitites and slang words that would be used. I believe the reason why writing is so much more formal is because we have to think in order to write. often, with our words, there is no filter on. Writing requires a thought process: words cannot automatically appear on the paper. We think about what we are putting down on paper, and therefore realize what parts of speech are proper and improper.

Speech is easy. Writing is hard.

I feel this is a broad generalizationt that results from being raised within text dominated culture. Speech and writing, at there fundamental levels, seem quite easy. The difference within our culture is that we tend to stop developing our oral skills while we are continually trained to enchance our writing.

That is why I feel that speech is harder than writing. To speak well takes time and a decent vocabulary. To write, one jots down words on paper. Both require a great deal of skill before being able to become a professional. We learn to speak before we can write. Even a baby has their own vocabulary. This is what makes us all unique, our speaking abilities.

I have to agree with David on this one. There have been some great public speakers who have moved people, even though they use slang. What about well respected authors from the south or from the west? Would there writing still be the same if they hadnt been using the speech of their homes to express themselves? Whether accepted or not speech details in writing make a difference. What does it matter if they are accepted or not as long as the readers gets it? I also do not think that one ever should stop working on their oral skills. There are people who make a living off of being purely oral people and im sure they work ont hose skills everyday. Look at car salesman.

Good point, Kayla. It's interesting to note how communication acts as a system of challenges and rewards, even for adults (think of someone who is rewarded with a job for speaking professionally at an interview, for example).

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