Writing or Speech?

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Traditionally, writing has often been referred to as the superior mode of communication. Since the Middle Ages, when more than half the population was illiterate, one who held the ability to write was considered to be part of the elite upper social class- and those who had this ability generally garnered a secured future with further education. However due to the major influx of technology in the recent years, the significance of speech has been increased- mainly because more and more people are using mobile phones; presenting on radio stations or acting on television. When discussing whether speech or the written word is superior, it is a difficult question to answer as peoples’ thoughts on what makes one superior will be different from one another. These two modes of communication each have their own uses and appropriateness. Despite writing being relatively recent in comparison to speech, the majority of humans can name more authors than they can of famous speakers- this is because when authors convey their point or message it is considered to be permanent and there are clear records of it, whereas until the recent development of technology there was no way of recalling speech apart from one’s own personal memory. Jane Eyre; Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, Dr Seuss, Dan Brown, William Shakespeare etc- these are all well-known authors whom many can recollect their written works, this is in comparison to the fact that most people can’t even name more than three famous speakers. One reason as to why these authors appeal to a larger audience than speakers is due to the fact that speakers only target a specific audience at a specific period of time rather than broadening the gap to anyone at anytime. Nowadays though some consider speech equal if not superior to speech, as they argue that speech can be flexible and adaptable meaning that it can be backed up by body language and facial expressions not just the style of tone and its graphology. Typically, this mode of...
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