Spoken Language Study assessment 2012 FINAL PIECE.


The English language is an enormous, flowing language, with all sorts of creative aspects and devices. Creativity in the English language is evident through use of text speech, occurring due to the lack of paralinguistic features in addition to the mere selection of the 136 available characters, and shown by the nuances and idioms of spoken language.



In text speech, via the use of a meagre emoticon, we can instantly add facial expression to the otherwise featurelessness, of text speech. The paralinguistic device of expression is extremely important in all forms of communication, adding emotion and depth to a statement. However, an emoticon can also be used to show sarcasm, a feature of language usually only available by use of nuances, as the only method of detecting sarcasm is via tone, pitch and body language. Emoticons are exceptionally creative as they make up for the lack of paralinguistic features to show facial expression only by using a few simple symbols. They add something to text than is the equivalent of colour to a painting; emotion, vividness and diversity. An example of an emoticon in use is [from the text conversation between Mark and Alex] “nm im at skl :’( “. The use of the emoticon “:’(“ shows the reader that the speaker, or ‘texter’ in this case, is unhappy about what they are doing. In this case it would be due to the fact that they are, or were, at school.

Furthermore, this statement brings use to our next point; abbreviations. Abbreviations, contractions and acronyms are devices used to crop down words; they take the first letter of each word in a phrase, or a letter that sounds like a word, to create a new word, normally only a single letter or a few letters long.  These phrases, such as “nm“ (meaning ‘Not Much’), as shown by the previous example, or “u” (meaning you) are used in every day text speech, and are broadly recognised. These phrases are created due to the fact that in texting, speed and brevity are very important. This is because it is difficult to type extended messages into a phones small keypad; these phrases have developed to make it less complicated to communicate with speed. Replacing words or phrases with a letter or a series of letters is extremely creative, as new words are invented purely for the sake of brevity.



Ingenuity and creativity are shown in spoken language by prosodic features. These small components, or nuances, such as tone, pitch and rhythm can define a statement, or completely change its meaning. A good example of prosodic features in use is in sarcasm. For instance, a common sarcastic saying is “that’s really helpful.” To express sarcasm, a speaker would say the phrase in a low tone, speak slower and put particular emphasis on the ‘really’. Sarcasm is an extremely good example of how malleable spoken language can be; saying one thing but meaning quite the opposite.

In addition to this, slang shows the inventiveness of spoken language. Slang words such as “fam” and “bruv” are used by groups of people to show that they belong, or are part of a certain group, and sometimes are used to create an impression. Slang words are also used as greetings, or to take the place of other words or phrases. Cockney rhyming slang is a classic example of an entire slang-based ‘language’. Acceptance is a highly important part in spoken language, as it is part of the human nature to be part of a group. In this case, “fam” and “bruv” are used by people of the same group to show belonging, and to fit in. In this sense, spoken language is extremely creative and inventive, in that groups of people make up their own words, phrases and idioms almost daily, that may not make sense in context to normal spoken language, but make perfect sense to people of the same group.



Spoken and text language are becoming interchangeable, as slang in spoken language is being used in text-based conversation. On the other hand, abbreviations and acronyms are becoming commonly used in everyday language, particularly by the younger generations. For instance, the acronym “LOL“(meaning laugh out loud), is said by many people, taking place of laughter. However, this contradicts the purpose LOL, as the person saying it is using it instead of laughing out loud, turning it into an almost sarcastic expression. Additionally, the acronym LOL has different meanings, depending on which generation you are from. The younger generation would define LOL as meaning ‘Laugh Out Loud’, from text based communication, taking place of laughter, factor of spoken language that is missing from text conversations. However, LOL would mean ‘Lots of Love’ or ‘Lots of Luck’ to older generations, sourcing from written letters. This is a hugely significant feature of creativity, the interchangeable-ability text language of text language with spoken language. Moreover, acronyms having different meanings depending on age are a huge example of how language is permanently developing.



Another immensely significant feature of creativity in spoken language is its change across the globe. In different countries across the world, people create their own dialects and accents, entirely by themselves. For instance, people originating from the area of Australia and New Zealand have a rising intonation towards the end of their sentences. This feature of their dialect is found in the majority of the population, happening because people like to fit in, to be accepted, into their surroundings, so their subconscious would adapt to impersonate the speech patterns of the people around them to fit in, linking back to slang. People also develop their individual dialects, namely ‘idiolects’. These points are extremely creative as people, as a whole or as individuals, sculpt spoken language to their own accord, leaving millions of possible accents and dialects.


Creativity is shown in vast quantities by spoken and text based language, and plays a vital role in both. The whole English language is a rapidly expanding language, evolving with people and technology; instant communication playing a massive part in the development. This is due to the fact that instant messaging services, such as Facebook and SMS messaging, allow communication between almost anyone almost anywhere in the entire world, and allow almost anything to go viral in a matter of clicks.

The youth also intervene in the development of language, as text communication is widely put to use by the younger generation, with the invention of acronyms and slang being, for the most part, in their hands. Personally, I think the creativity shown by the development of language, particularly the part that the youth has to play in it, is comparable to the likes of Shakespeare, particularly the language devices used and the sheer boldness with that of the ancient rules of the English language being broken to make way for new words with new meanings. The future of language lies in the hands of the younger generations, a pliable piece of clay to be shaped, the tool being the minds of ordinary humans like you and me, with infinite possibilities of possibilities and futures to be made…

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