Speak as you would write?

furrykef   Tue May 22, 2007 10:58 pm GMT
I tend to adapt my writing to the way I speak more than the other way around. (I do so less often here in order to make myself more easily understood.) So often I write words like "gonna" and "wanna", the ending -ing often becomes -in', and I even write "I'ma", as in "I'ma play a video game," rather than "I'm going to play a video game."

I only do that in informal written speech, of course... online conversations and the like. Obviously, in "real" writing, I would only restrict this to character dialogue. There are other times I won't do it in online conversations... when I want the reader to pay attention, I'll stop doing it, much as I would speak more "properly" when making an important point in speech. (Though when something is written mostly formally, the reverse can be done... just as one might expect former-wrestler-turned-politician Jesse Ventura to use a double negative in the most important line in his speech, or Arnold Schwarzenegger to say something about girlie-men in his.)

So it's more or less of a written analogue of how people tend to speak differently in formal situations than in informal situations. I don't really know why I do it, since it's every bit as easy to write formally. For some reason, I just like to be able to convey the same "tone" that I have in my mind when I'm writing, and this style often seems to fit...

<< Although I'm not American, as far as I'm aware, it is a typical American expression. In British English it has a completely different meaning. >>

"Pissed off" has the same meaning in both dialects. In my understanding. it's American in origin, but it has become familiar to the British through American films and the like. I don't know how often the British use the term themselves, though. It could be like how any American will recognize the word "wanker" and know both its literal and figurative meanings, but would only say it either to be humorous or deliberately "affected".

It's "pissed" without the "off" that has different meanings: "I'm pissed" means "I'm pissed off" (i.e., very annoyed) in American English, but it means "I'm very drunk" in British English. (But "pissed" as a verb has the same meaning in both dialects: past tense of "piss", a somewhat vulgar term for "urinate".)

On the other hand, the imperative "Piss off!" (i.e., "Go away!") is a British expression, though context should make it clear to any American.

- Kef
K. T.   Wed May 23, 2007 2:00 am GMT
"Has she lived in a vacuum all her life? "Pissed off" is known, if not used, by almost every British adult"

I doubt the "used" part, but it is common in the United States as well.
I don't like the expression, so I don't use it.
Uriel   Wed May 23, 2007 4:31 am GMT
I tend to speak in a far more informal style than I write, but then, it depends on what I'm writing. (Or, I suppose, on what I'm talking about!) Y'ain't gonna find me talkin' about poetry in real life, for instance. Or using "whom". I use lots of slang and colloquialisms in my normal conversational mode. (And I would probably never say "normal conversational mode"! But hey, I gotta put that degree to work sometimes, or I'll wonder what the hell I'm paying back all those student loans for!)
Travis   Wed May 23, 2007 6:53 am GMT
My speech is far, far more informal than my writing, which can often be very formal in nature, and which I tend to treat as if it were a foreign language that I just happened to be very fluent in. However, it is informal in a different way, in that I generally do not use as much general slang (aside from that of computer geeks like myself) and that much of my usage is informed by more formal literary usages. At the same time, it is phonologically very worn down and clipped (and very often quite far from GA) and uses many highly informal and often quite dialectal syntactic and morphological forms (while preserving some more formal ones that many dialects have largely lost; for instance, I often use "whom" with prepositions preceding them and I distinguish the past subjunctive and the past indictative with "if").

One thing, though, is that even most informal writing, such as when chatting online, does not really provide an accurate representation of my informal speech. This is largely due to its having words whose pronunciations differ significantly from those indicated even in informal writing, largely due to elision and assimilation (for instance, just how would one informally spell ["eMt_h@:] for formal "able to" anyways?) Also, my informal speech has phonetic elements such as vowels whose lengths do not correspond to the voicing of following consonants, overlong vowels, differences between glottalized and non-glottalized postvocalic voiceless consonants, long consonants within non-compound words, and nasal vowels lacking following nasal consonants (and oral vowels followed by nasal consonants) which cannot really be approximated even in English informal writing. All in all, I really do not know *how* to write how I speak outside of very roughly approximating it with formal forms without concern for actual pronunciation or directly transcribing it.

At the same time, I easily shift into very formal and careful speech phonologically and syntactically, which is far closer to the formal literary language than my usual everyday speech, and which may preserve almost archaic forms such as "shall" and the use of the bare past subjunctive in subordinate clauses (which is practically absent in most everyday speech here but is still very commonly used in the formal literary language). I tend to use such for effect (where then I am particularly apt to use words like "shall") and in particular social situations (for instance, when talking to employees in an official capacity for companies other than my own or strangers who are significantly older than me).
Travis   Wed May 23, 2007 7:30 am GMT
A better example of the problems with informally writing in my dialect is the word "problem", which is very commonly pronounced as ["p_hr\a:m:], but "prom" or "prahm" (which is how one might be tempted to write it informally) would represent /pram/, which would actually be ["p_hr\a~:m]. Even "prahmm" would still be ["p_hr\a~:m] - and one could not say that vowels are always unnasalized before long nasals, as "grandma" is usually ["gRE{~:m:@:] rather than *["gRE{:m:@:] or ["gRE{~:m@:] (which does sporadically appear). The only real way I can see writing it informally is "prahbm", with the understanding that "bm" represents a phonemic /bm/ cluster that phonetically relealized as [m:] without nasalizing the preceding vowel, but even this would be confusing to those without such an assimilation.
Klinsman   Thu May 24, 2007 1:30 pm GMT
Hi Guest (or anyone)

I've been trying to search for English speakers (Americans or British) to voice chat with on skype. But I'm not sure if they would just talk with strangers. Did you know the Americans or British you chatted on skype personally? Or were they just someone who had happened to be online at that time and were dialled-up randomly?

I don't want to look like a weirdo or prick by dialling up somebody out-of-the-blue on skype.

How do I properly get Americans or Brits to voice chat with on skype??
Any tips?

Pos   Thu May 24, 2007 1:40 pm GMT
<<<I've been trying to search for English speakers (Americans or British) to voice chat with on skype. But I'm not sure if they would just talk with strangers. >>

What has that got to do with the topic of this thread? Why don't you begin your own thread and not clogg this one with off-topic requests?

Klinsman   Thu May 24, 2007 2:02 pm GMT
Alright, I'll try. I hope there'll be responds.
Klinsman   Thu May 24, 2007 2:24 pm GMT

It should have been "responses" : )