There are many diverse ways in which people communicate depending on certain factors, such as who is speaking, who they’re talking to, what their purpose is and the mode. For example, people tend to use informal language and Non-standard English when speaking to their friends, whereas they will use more formal language in certain situations such as a job interview to show that they have a high status and are well-educated. Other factors which may affect the way we speak including our accent and dialect are; age, geography, heritage, gender, social class, occupation and sexuality.
The main differences between spoken and written language are that spoken language is ephemeral, usually informal and one can also use facial expressions, pitch, volume and pace to aid meaning. In contrast, writing is formal, has a permanence and it is more difficult to express oneself as you can only use punctuation and sentence structure to do this. Another vital difference is that speech is spontaneous because of its speed but writing is planned and prepared mainly because it is permanent.
Written language is often prepared and planned because once something is written down it has permanence and is static so therefore thought is required before writing. On the other hand, spontaneity and speed makes it more difficult to plan talk and because spoken language is ephemeral, it is also easy to repeat or reformulate what you have said if necessary. In Text A, non-fluency features like fillers are used by both participants which have several effects on the receiver and the fillers occur particularly when replying to a question. In the conversation, fillers such as ‘hmm’ and ‘ermm’ are used which would be seen as a way to allow the speaker some thinking time in a spoken conversation but because this is a written conversation, it is used by the writers to indicate to the receiver that they have put thought into what they have just said which eliminates any chance of this conversation being planned. In spoken language, particularly in dialogues, speakers of all languages are prone to using fillers, often unconsciously with the main purpose of allowing the speaker to break while collecting their thoughts. Some people say that fillers slow down speech and are a sign of nervousness and go against the basic principles of speaking expressed by Grice’s Maxims especially ‘The maxim of manner’ which is that one should speak clearly. Alternatively, most people feel that using fillers i.e. pausing is a part of human nature and the human mind needs time to think.
In Text D, which is a blog from someone who has broken up with their partner, the blogger uses non-fluency features throughout the blog but hedges, which are most common in speech, are particularly present at the beginning when the blogger says ‘Right. Erm I haven’t been blogging cos I’ve had a lot going on.’ ‘Right’ could be seen as a discourse marker and ‘Erm’ could be perceived as a filler but they are clear examples of...