You sound funny

Since moving jobs, Louise now has her own email address. We ping the occasional email back and forth, usually to confirm plans for the evening. A couple of recent emails were a bit longer and I found myself a little puzzled. My wife sounds very different in text. That is, whilst I can hear her voice, the phrasing and tone implied when she writes is quite different from her everyday voice.

Of course that is only to be expected, and frankly I’m a little embarassed to only really be considering such a thing after having spent a fair chunk of the last few years online. I’ve met a few bloggers and none have “sounded” the same as the way they write. Does that even make sense? Well, regardless of my ham-fisted attempt to grasp this topic, I’m sure most of you have an idea of what I’m waffling on about (that’s makes a change, eh!).

This, to me, marks the great writer from the good, the skilled wordsmith from the mediocre keyboard basher. The ability to capture nuances of the spoken word and display them in written form is an art, and I’m lucky to have been reading some wonderful proponents of such skill for a few years now. Some of them have, deservedly, gained book deals, others have moved into writing full-time, and one or two remain somewhat secret from the rest of the mainstream, all of them make me laugh, make me cry and generally remind me just how powerful the written word can be.

I wonder if they would have the same impact if I’d met them and spoken to them?


  1. Peggy said:

    Good post there Gordon! I have always written as I speak. I think it makes it easier to read.

    November 14, 2007
  2. mum said:

    Me too Peggy,, that’s why my thumbs are sore from texting – after nearly 40 years correcting spelling I just CANT get my fingers to type ‘nite’ or ‘fone’. I’d hate anyone to think I couldn’t spell, hence the long garbled texts which is exactly how I talk.

    November 15, 2007
  3. Gordon said:

    (decides to say nothing about the way my Mum talks, although I wouldn’t use the word garbled more… disconnected, she switches from one topic to a completely different one on a regular basis)

    November 15, 2007
  4. mum said:

    Fast brain speed G. that’s what does it – keep up.

    November 15, 2007
  5. Blue Witch said:

    I think I sound pretty much how I write… but then I learnt to dictate reports/important documents for secretaries to type, at a young age in my professional life, and still use VRS a lot of the time (you can tell when I’m not because the typos creep in!).

    I’m like Gordon’s Mum when it comes texting too (but mostly I don’t use that as a medium anyway because telegrammic speech was never my strongest point :)).

    November 15, 2007
  6. Misssy M said:

    I’ve been told that reading the Missives is just like hearing me talk…and that worries me. However (cough!) you can check out if I talk like I write by listening to me on the radio. (Puffs chest to brazen out attempt at self promotion that is to follow).’s on:

    Every Saturday at 9.05am

    Forgive me.

    (Slinks off utterly ashamed..)

    November 15, 2007

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