While reading chapter 12 in Finegan I thought back to the beginning of the semester when we talked about how nobody writes letters anymore. More than just the physical beauty of written language I thought a lot about the emotional aspect of written language. I have always found that writing down what I want to say is not only easier, but that I am more honest when doing so.
Reading about written language made me think about how each individual person has a different and very distinct version of their written language. I'm sure you would be able to recognize the handwriting of individuals if given a sample without a name. This is how I found out that Santa Claus isn't real. Santa always left us a thank you note for the cookies, milk and carrots for the reindeer that we left out each year. I don't remember how old I was, but I remember coming downstairs on Christmas morning excited to read the letter Santa had left for us. I don't know if it clicked right away or if I realized it later, but I noticed that Santa had the exact same handwriting as my mom. My suspicion was confirmed the next year when Santa's handwriting looked exactly like my dad's! I'm glad I found out that way, figuring it out on my own, rather than someone spoiling it for me!
There is something so comforting in reading something someone has written to you. Going to school in Moorhead my first two years of college I always felt so comforted and connected to the person who had sent me a letter. Recognizing instantly whom it was from just by their handwriting on the front of the envelope.
So write letters when you can instead of emails :) Your reader will love it!
A service learning course I'm taking through the English department, which focuses on Educational Politics and Literacy has addressed throughout the semester many of the same issues brought up in the article titled Literacy and the Literacy Myth: From Plato to Freire. It was interesting to see the importance of linguistics in the highly politicized debates regarding literacy that these two men are known for. In my other course we've focused mostly on Friere's modern concepts of how literacy cannot ever be politically neutral and it was interesting to see ideas of a founding father of Freire's thoughts through Plato. Both men as revolutionaries of their time period have found a key way to interpret language, literacy, and linguistics as more than just the ability to understand and produce elements of a certain language but the larger implications of having these skills in regards to education, social status, job marketability, etc. It was a great article through which to examine socio-linguistic impact in regards to literacy, the human experience, and life quality determined by level of literacy.
In thinking about chapter 12, I was struck by the differences of the written language and the spoken language. To me, they really seem worlds apart. Whether academic writing or just personal communication,etc...I think that the formation of writing is so much more controlled and manufactured. This is a good thing and a bad thing. When I speak, I often don't think about what I'm saying for a huge period of time first (I often don't think at all!), but when I write I find myself really analyzing my points and my composition. Maybe the completeness of the written language is a huge influence on why politicians and public speakers have WRITTEN speeches...they don't just go out there and say something. They want something that has been controlled, thought over, and in a sense manufactured. I think the most important thing I contemplated this week is just that the written and the spoken are really so different and have very different ways of communicating language.