Monday, February 26, 2007

English Update February 26, 2007

What are the differences between writing and speaking? 1. Writing is learned behavior; talking is natural behavior. 2. Writing is an artificial process. 3. Writing is a technological device; talking is organic. 4. Most writing is slower than talking. 5. Writing is stark, barren, naked; talking is rich, inherently redundant. 6. Talking is based on environment; writing must provide its own context. 7. With writing the audience is absent; with talking the listener is present. 8. Writing produces a visible product; talking does not. 9. Because writing produces a product, writing is more responsible and committed than talking. 10. The written word is permanent; talking is ephemeral. 11. Writing is a source of learning with its product; talking is easily forgotten. J Emig. CCC (May 77), 123-124. …people read about twice as fast as they speak, which means that you can read something in about half the time it will take a speaker to tell you the same thing. TM Sawyer. CCC (Feb. 77), 45. How do writing and speaking to an audience differ? “The speaker can relate to the audience with a fairly certain knowledge of its response, while the writer can never know for sure what his or her readers are like or what they next expect.” RJ Connors. CCC (Oct. 79), 286. Thomas Sawyer points out that ‘because the listening audience is sure to miss portions of live speech and cannot preserve it for review…communication must be redundant—repetitious—to be memorable.’ RJ Connors. CCC (Oct. 79), 288. Writing also has the advantage over speech in the precision it allows in word structure…. RJ Connors. CCC (Oct. 79), 289.

What should we look for when revising? We’re all guilty of padding (“at this point in time” vs. “now”). Each of us uses certain phrases without thinking. The trick is to identify them so we can eliminate them. Start by searching your copy…. Once you know your pet phrases, get into the habit of using your computer’s “find-and-replace” function to eliminate them. GA Workman. Wrt (Sept. 04), 10.

What is meant by “correcting”? I think most writing teachers label, rather than correct, errors, letting students figure out how to correct. Since students don’t understand the label, they are not able to correct.

What are some criticisms of education? Laments a company official in a recent study on education in industry by the Conference Board in New York: “We’re doing what the educators ought to be doing. College graduates can’t write reports; high school graduates can’t read, spell or write…and they all have poor vocabularies. Twelve years is a long time to spend in school and not come away with the basics.” USNWR (Jul. 16, 79), 70. Robt. Craig of the American Society for Training and Development: Engineers and managers need to be taught how to write and speak and how to hold meetings. USNWR (Jul. 16, 79), 70.

How consistently and accurately do teachers correct students’ papers? Author inherited a collection of papers corrected by different teachers. These corrections showed arbitrary correction of punctuation, involved grammatical mistakes in the teachers’ corrections, unnecessary and stilted rewriting of the student’s expression and revelation of the teachers’ biases in response to student’s thoughts. G Sloan. CCC (Dec. 77), 370-373.

What are the characteristics of good and poor writing? Judgments of quality in writing. Identifies sophistication in handling modifiers, particularly final, free modifiers, as a feature associated with judgments of quality; negatively, identifies brevity, the frequent use of modal auxiliaries and of “be” and “have” as auxiliaries and a limited range of verbs (possibly signifying a limited vocabulary) as features associated negatively with judgments of quality. EW Nold in RL Larson. CCC (May 79), 208.

CCC = College Composition and Communication. Wrt = The Writer. USNWR = US News and World Report.

No comments:

Post a Comment