Writing And Speaking
It is commonly known that writing and speaking are closely interacted and both require special skills and knowledge to use in society. However, it is obvious that deaf people who usually cannot speak are able to be taught writing whereas some societies still exist and develop without writing. Thus, one can wonder if it is possible to define what is more important – writing or speaking.
To define this let’s see some advantages and disadvantages of both writing and speaking. Speaking is much older than writing, it had existed thousands of years earlier than writing was innovated. While speaking developed due to society’s primary needs of communication writing needed in more complex society when some records were needed. There are still some societies which are not educated and do not have writing, but they have preserved their own culture, traditions, history and customs. Moreover, speaking can be defined as human natural skill which is not needed to be taught. People can start speaking without any teachers if they grow up within society. Writing is not so natural, one has to be taught how to write. Then speaking offers a wider range of context-bound meanings because it implies verbal communication together with non-verbal tools, such as gestures, mimic, intonations and speed. Comparing with writing where it is very hard to create a context-bound message even if many symbols, metaphors, punctuation and other writing tools are used. While speaking it is easier to fluently change the vocabulary, topic and genre due to your listener’s immediate feedback. Thus, a speaker interacts with his audience much faster and effective than a writer. Thus, speaking is predetermined to be more important than writing. However, writing is thought as an essential activity of society and successful writing can sometimes influence the society much greater than speaking.
Although writing requires special knowledge and years of study it is the most effective way to communicate with thousands of people at the same time. If you have something important to tell, something that must be immediately released throughout the world, the only thing you need is to start writing. Next, common morals and values that were historically predetermined had to be still recorded in written for next generations, such as the Bible or Koran books.
One of the largest disadvantages of writing is it has to be taught because it requires knowledge in grammar, spelling, structuring, punctuation etc. Besides, writing is useless in case nobody can read it. While a listener can understand a speaker even if he does not know the speaker’s language (I mean non-verbal communication can help), a reader cannot understand anything if he are not able to read or does not know the language of a writer.
It is obvious speaking is more important than writing because of its natural origin, richness, more ancient history and primary needs of communication. ‘Word came first…’ means we have to primarily develop our speaking skills and not be afraid of face-to-face communication.