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Vernacular EloquenceWhat Speech Can Bring to Writing$
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Peter Elbow

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199782505.001.0001

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Can We Really Have the Best of Both Worlds?

Can We Really Have the Best of Both Worlds?

(p.124) 6 Can We Really Have the Best of Both Worlds?
Vernacular Eloquence

Peter Elbow

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains how we can have a kind of writing that is as easy as speaking and has all the other advantages of speech such as liveliness, natural connection with audience, or intonation that magically carries meaning. It also envisions a kind of writing that is good for revising, reworking, and communicating complexity, while also enhancing prestige, safety, and privacy. It discusses these goals from two perspectives: as an idealist and as a realist. It also outlines four hybrids that suggest paths toward bringing to writing all the advantages of speaking—and still keep all the advantages of writing: email, quotation, recorded interview and oral history, and use of oral presentations to improve written essays. The chapter concludes by presenting two stories of how early Standard English was born.

Keywords:   writing, speaking, speech, email, quotation, recorded interview, oral history, oral presentations, essays, Standard English

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