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Vernacular Eloquence – What Speech Can Bring to Writing - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing

Peter Elbow


This book examines the role of the spoken word in writing. It begins by questioning the basic cultural assumption that speaking and writing are two very different, incompatible modes of expression, and that we should keep them separate. The book explores the many linguistic and rhetorical virtues of speech—spontaneity, naturalness of expression, fluidity of thought—to show that many of these virtues can usefully be brought to writing. The book suggests that we begin the writing process by “speaking” our words onto the page, letting the words and ideas flow without struggling to be “correct.” S ... More

Keywords: speaking, spoken word, writing, expression, spontaneity, naturalness of expression, fluidity of thought, culture, literacy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199782505
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199782505.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Elbow, author
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Professor of English Emeritus

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