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comment by tacocat
tacocat  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, I have a language question

You're not wrong but I fail to see how I'm wrong about written speech and spoken speech being separate things. Particularly for the purpose of creative writing.




kleinbl00  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Because they aren't separate.

Written speech is an emulation of spoken speech. This much is true and has always been true. However, the advent of mobile text-based instantaneous communication has caused spoken speech to be influenced by written speech. Tell me you've never once in your life said "lol" out loud. That right there is a keyboard shortcut of a textual maladaptation turned into vernacular and recycled back into speech. Same with the verbal use of "hashtag." It is a verbal representation of a textual shorthand used to express an idea larger than its ideogrammatic payload.

There is no easy, immediate way to communicate the verbal "the Us(ual)". So while it may be used amongst an ingroup as a part of their spoken language, it's a tic - it's "an idiosyncratic and habitual feature" not an idea that can be communicated to others.

Verbal languages are effectively dead now - if you don't have a written language to go along with your verbal language, you have no ability to transcend your immediate environs. "How do I write this slang" is a de facto and de jure attempt to transcend the immediate environs of language and it is a failure. That it can easily be communicated verbally doesn't matter - Kalahari bushmen can absolutely use language features no other language does but they don't catch on with anyone who doesn't hear them spoken.

_refugee_  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can come up with exactly one scenario in which spoons' question (how to spell this word) could possibly be anything more than a thought experiment, and to that I say: man, i bet it sucks to be the guy being paid $.01/word to type up the subtitles for TV.

that guy is the only guy, probably ever in the history of the world, likely to find this question not only relevant - but pressing.

poor guy probably has to type so fast to make decent $ off subtitling he just threw some letters down and didn't even look back or give a fug

kleinbl00  ·  239 days ago  ·  link  ·  

... And he'd type "usual."

I've seen those guys work. They don't backspace. The closed captioning people anyway. When it comes to subtitles that's a college intern at the production company.

tacocat  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right. An emulation. And not a perfect one. Yes, shorthand and slang and SMS abbreviations can and do influence spoken language. No. You can't just invent one.

But you can't translate all the nuances, imperfections, intonations, personally shared meaning into text for the purpose of narrative. You can come close in film and drama but your dialog still has to serve the purpose of the story you're telling and so it is not a 1:1 comparison of dialog to conversation.

The closest writer I can think of off the top of my head to do it is Raymond Carver and his characters still have to speak in a stylized fashion to a degree to serve the story. Speech and writing are not the same thing. You can't have two characters constantly stumbling over each other's statements as happens in real life or you get stilted tedious dialog. Conversation evolves in natural ways that serve no purpose beyond communication between people. You're really hard pressed to give a character a speech impediment except maybe a lisp.

Writing can't be speech. Maybe a transcript can be. I'm talking about writing with some overall plot or structure because I assumed that is what sp00ns is doing. You can emulate speech in a way that seems natural if you're good enough but it's still stylized which means that there is a barrier between the way we can speak everyday and the way we can write speech for the purposes of a narrative. Words are just tools and they have their limits as such and they have different limits based on how they are presented, whether orally or written.

Also I think I said LOL like once as a joke. I just gave in and started typing it in the last year.

kleinbl00  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're speaking at cross-purposes. I'm tired. I missed you arguing primarily that "speech" (for purposes of creative writing) and speech (for communication) are different. Sorry. I agree with that 100%.

My primary argument pretty much comes down to this:

    When in doubt I usually just go with what is easiest to understand

And when it's so impossible to understand that you have to take a survey to determine how to move forward, nobody is going to go with it. Where you said "accept the tools you're working with" I thought you were arguing that if people talk that way, you have to figure out a way to write it.

Carry on.

tacocat  ·  240 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I didn't think we were far off from each other. Carry on yourself.