What Are the Main Differences Between Spoken and Written English?

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Katie Royle 17/9/10

What are the main differences between spoken and written English?

In English, speech is known as a social way of communicating and expressing an opinion. On the other hand writing is known more for recording notes, facts and information. Each form of English has different ways of interacting with a specific audience. The lexis for both the written and spoken mode is somewhat different. Informal and colloquial is the language used during speech whereas the language used in written is more formal. Written English can be intended for certain type of reader or aimed for a wide different audience. While speech is often more personalized and can happen face to face this will include eye contact to interact more with the other person.

In writing it is generally more planned and the words are chosen with greater deliberation, therefore it will be more structured than speech. The written texts tend to be more detailed and fluent, and the writing will be more sophisticated because the text took more time thought over and longer to create. This idea is that written messages do not have to be delivered spontaneously; instead, they can be edited and revised several times before they are finalized so that the overall content of the text can be to its fullest quality. Another advantage is that written language can have a permanent record of the text; this allows the text to be absorbed over and over again for a long period of time. For these reasons, written English is often more appropriate for important business companies that will need facts and figures often and can be usefully written down.

The disadvantages to written English are that it is more expensive to use the materials to make the text. Unlike in speaking English, the reply is not instant and there will be no immediate feedback these then result in the whole process becoming time consuming, so speech becomes more essential in communication when time is of the...
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