The relationship between spoken language and the language we use when we text is similar but can vary when looking at each factor separately. This essay will be analyzing the different features that contribute to the variation which is evident when either of these language forms are carried out. The language styles we choose to execute usually influence each other which is a factor of why the link between both styles are so strong.

One main factor that differentiates the way we speak and text is the relationship between the participants of the conversation, which is apparent in both text and spoken language. The relationship between two people can greatly differentiate the meaning behind any phrase. For example, “What you sayin” can be considered formal and informal from two perspectives. This is identical within text as greeting someone with “yo” can be regarded as formal between two people with a close relationship, whereas to someone with a not-so-close relationship this is considered as informal as the friendly gesture is not sustained within their relationship. Although, when used in text, it is harder to determine the relationship between two individuals as their is no expression within the speech that is communicated.

The expression one uses when speaking can greatly alter the outcome of your speech. When someone is angry, if the person expresses it in a higher or playful tone this could indicate that he is playing and not serious. The recipient can process this and automatically understand the way in which the speaker meant. This is not possible in text. When using text, the expression is not shown and is far less detailed. The receiver may not know the tone the sender intended and this can be hard to tell by the receiver. As a substitution emoticon’s are used instead.

Although emoticon’s are widely used in text, facial expressions are used in spoken language as a more effective and detailed way to express emotions. We usually accompany our speech with a facial expression which can show someone how you actually intended your words to be. If someone says “shut up” but with a smile, it is clear that person did not mean it seriously. This proves your facial expression is far more useful as it has a wider range of emotional expressions.

Emotional expressions are all aspects of para linguistic features we use in our everyday lives. Some aspects include body language, gestures, tone and pitch of voice which all contribute to the emphasis and shades of meaning behind our speech. This can only be applied to spoken language. We usually use paralinguistic features without noticing and this is a natural way to communicate. When communicating within text, this is far from possible and we usually change between upper and lower case to express our tone. Paralinguistic features can also influence the way we speak.

The way we text can also influence the way we speak. If you text very often, phrases that are used in text can be implemented into your speech. Phrases such as “Wuu2 (What you up to)” can influence us to use this phrase in spoken language. When greeting someone, “Wuu2” isn’t usually your first preference of word choice, but if this is used often, you will naturally use this word more often. This can also be reversed as when you say a word often, you will automatically start using this word in your text.

Another main factor that affects the way we speak and text is abbreviations. We abbreviate words and actions when they are not possible in text or to shorten the word/action. A popular example of this is laughter. In spoken language when we find something funny we would laugh. As this is not possible in text, we would abbreviate laughter to “lol”. Using initialization to spell “Laugh Out Loud”, it is used to inform us that someone is laughing without having to literally translate laughter.

Although their are many differences, their are also many similarities. One example of a similarity is that if a hierarchy is present, people still adjust their respect depending on the person they are talking to. If they are talking to a teacher, whether it be in spoken language or text, they will automatically adjust their language to be more formal. On the other hand, if they are talking to their little brother in text or spoken language they will be more informal as they have a far more closer relationship.

In addition, the use of slang in your speech and text is applicable in both styles of communication. Usually if slang is used in one style, it will be adapted to the other and people will understand each other. These slang words are also linked to idioms. Idioms are used in very similar ways between speech and text communication as if a word or phrase is used within a circle, this can only be understood within this closed group so people outside will not understand. “We’re going docks” is an example used within our school. We say this when we mean ‘we are going sailing’, but since our school school is used to saying this phrase, we will use this more often. This is the same between text and speech.

In conclusion, I believe the relationship is different when many factors are considered, even if their are a few similarities. This is because the factors of difference outweigh the factors of the similarities. Although, I believe that para linguistic features is the main point which affects the difference between the two styles of communication. This is because in speech it is a natural way to include additional information, whereas in text we are forced to find another way to communicate this.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. This is great, and original, Deelan. In your first paragraph, and during moments throughout your essay you can have a tendency to obfuscate your point through the use of overly convoluted language. Sometimes the simpler words and structures can be the best.

    Well done – a good, sophisticated piece of analysis.


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