Tuesday, 20 October 2015

5 reasons why writing is easier than talking



My entire world changed completely when I learnt how to read. Until then, I was a shy, sometimes stammering child who had to rely on other people when she wanted to be entertained with stories. Discovering the written word was a revelation. While I was still shy and sometimes stammering, I could now have wild adventures, new friends, and people who understood me at my fingertips whenever I wanted/needed to. 
But what was more life-improving than reading was discovering the many advantages of writing. 
Long before I started to blog, I used the written word to address conflicts with friends, to get my point across to my parents, and to declare my love to a boy. While I had the most difficult time saying these things out loud (still do, in fact), writing them down was infinitely easier. 

Want to know why? Here are my top 5 reasons:

1. You have time to think about what you want to say. 
Whenever I have a somewhat difficult conversation ahead of me, I want to die a little. Be it trying to explain to my parents that I am not a child any more, or talking to my boss about something uncomfortable, I can be as well-prepared as I know how, and it will still be a disaster. As soon as I want to start listing my well-rehearsed arguments, words desert me, my mind is a blank and I don't know what to say. I will nod along to everything they tell me, which is making perfect sense to me suddenly, and walk out not only not having stood my ground, but having completely forgotten what my ground is.   

2. I'm funnier in writing. 
I'm not quick on my feet when it comes to witty comebacks. Not at all. I usually think of a somewhat funny retort an hour after the conversation, which is impractical in a spoken conversation, but totally fine in a written one. You can always pretend you just got that text now.   

3. You can google word synonyms. 
I am confident that in the not-too-far future we will have an app implanted in our brain that gives us better word choices of what we want to say. Instead of overusing "awesome" like I'm prone to do, the nifty little app in my mind will supply me with better choices like "mind-boggling", "stirring", or "formidable".
"Your new haircut is stirring!" has quite a ring to it, doesn't it?  

4. Spell check.
I do realize that spell check is not necessary when talking (word check would be handy though, to let me know when I say something inappropriate), but I would love to have a grammar check for spoken conversation. Often my words come out before I have thought them through, and it shows. How long can you use "English is my second language" as an excuse? I have a feeling after 12+ years the excuse is not valid any more. Particularly when you do the same thing in your native language.  

5. You can be distracted without looking like a fool.
Whenever I'm writing something, like right now, I will interrupt it regularly to scroll through Instagram, check my emails, or do a quick scan of the Internet to look for little bits of entertainment. I know this is not very productive, but that's how I roll. 
Here is the thing: I'm the same way when I'm talking to people. My mind frequently wanders, and I get distracted by their outfit, how they did their hair, or thinking about what my friend told me 10 minutes ago. My eyes glaze over, I lose track of the conversation, and when they look at me expectantly I realize with a start that I have no idea what they just told me. It's awkward and embarrassing.

How about you? Do you prefer written or spoken language?





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