Articles on Language

Response on: “Is Twitter speech or writing?”

This article is an interesting read. It discusses about what type of communication Twitter really is. Is it writing or is it speech? First of all, what is the difference between spoken words and written words? One of the many differences is that writing tends to be more formal than spoken words. Also, speech tends to be more dynamic and entertaining than in written form. This is indeed very evident in our everyday lives.

In this modern society we live in, almost no one can live without using a social medium. I think it all depends on how one utilizes it. For example in twitter, some might use it to inform others what they are doing or what they are feeling. For example, “Hey guys! Gonna shower now” or “Going to eat”. Others might use it for political reasons or to express  their views on a particular subject. As such, it can be seen that Twitter has both the essence of speech and writing. It is no doubt true that twitter is a new thing, a new kind of category. It is a new culture of communication. It is a hybrid of both speech and writing. Language has never been solid and expression has allow itself room to expand. The question we should be asking ourselves is “How has technology affected the ways in which we use language as our means of communication?”

Language together with technology is a really interesting topic to talk about. Does this new evolution of technology restrict the way in which we express ourselves or does it assist us in communicating? From my perspective, the effect of evolution of technology on language has assisted us in communicating the other ‘Ways Of Knowing” like emotion. Like many social mediums, twitter has become a hybrid whereby both speech and writing is involved. The effect of the usage of both spoken words and written words certainly makes communication much more vibrant. How did this ever happen? How did both ever come together? It is in human nature to find short cuts and  the ever advancing technology helps speeds up this process. When we post something on twitter, we use short forms to get our message across. Also, there is a limited number of words one can have in a post. As such, people would need to find the most efficient and effective way to put their message across. At the end of the day, it gets the job done!

How does being dynamic help assist us in communicating emotion? Take for example a literature text. The text here is in written words. It is very formal. If we read it carefully and understand the message being put across, we would start to have feelings towards some of the characters in the book. However, this takes time to understand. If however, the same text is being transformed into a more dynamic way, like spoken text, I am sure that understanding it would be much easier as it would be as if someone was explaining it to you. Some people might argue saying that if everything was written in spoken text, then cultures would be destroyed. If we take the same example of literature text and then transforming it into spoken text, the art of the language would be destroyed.

What do you think?


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4 comments to Articles on Language

  • Dawn

    It is very interesting to look at the development of language nowadays. It is hard to say whether it is a “bad” or “good” thing that we have modern technology to provide short cuts for us to communicate. We gain and lose at the same time. As time progress what seemed to be bad will show its worth or the contrary.
    However, I do not agree with you for this:
    “From my perspective, the effect of evolution of technology on language has assisted us in communicating the other ‘Ways Of Knowing” like emotions.”
    Yes, that the” usage of both spoken words and written words” makes communication much more “vibrant”, but it does not express emotion all the time. on the other hand, it makes language loses its “beauty” with all the abbreviations like “ttyl”, “gtg”.

    This gets me thinking that whether it is important to get a way to communicate faster, or is it more important the “preserve” the beauty of the language that the old generation has pass on to us? Should we all write like people who lived in the shakespearian time? Or language has take its way of evolution, that there’s a beauty that we have not yet discover within the modern language abbreviations like “LOL”?

  • Aaron

    I disagree with you saying that the usage of both speech and writing does not express emotion all the time. This only occurs if you are speaking to a very boring person with no emotions at all. Or rather, the emotion felt would be one of boredom. Take for example on Skype, someone keeps replying you with a one word answer like “yes” “no” “bye bye” etc. Of course you will feel bored and annoyed. Compare this with another conversation with like “Hey!!! :)” “Yeahh I AGREE!!!” or “THANKS Bro!!” This conversation is definitely more lively then previous one. Can you see the differences now? As such, there will always be emotions evoked by what was being expressed in the spoken and written form. Both speech and writing creates a very dynamic way of communication.
    Seems like we have to agree to disagree.

    Great thoughts on the ‘beauty of language’ First of all, how should we define beauty? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. If we look at it from many different perspectives, some would agree that abbreviations would be destroying the beauty of language while some would disagree saying that abbreviations is the new culture of communication. They might even say that this is the beauty of the modern era. I am very sure that people who loves the art of english and manuscripts of the shakespearian times will wholeheartedly condemn abbreviations.

    Overall, I doubt that that day would ever come whereby english is destroyed by the modern age of mankind. Right now, this kind of speech and writing form are only visible online especially on different social medium. Further more in society, there will always need to be some sort of structure and formality.

  • Rafter

    As time goes by, people evolve. Cultures evolve. So it will be logical to say that language also evolve with time. When language continues to develop, we set aside what we used to use and instead use new forms of language as a substitute. Now, unlike machines, we do not throw them away once a new model is created. Instead, “older” language will be continuously used with the new language. I think the true purpose of the social medias is to allow people to express themselves without the need to over complicate what they want to really say. It’s not about the quality of the language used, its about sending a message. And isn’t that the purpose of language? To send a message to the person you want communicate with. Without these barriers that make language so complex, expressions can actually be more vivid.

    • Aaron

      Yes the purpose of language is definitely about ‘sending a message’. The question we should ask ourselves is how do we actually convey the message?

      I agree with you that “it will be logical to say that language also evolve with time”. The question we should be asking ourselves is how does evolution play a big role in shaping the way we convey our message?

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