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Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring To Writing

Jese Leos
18.2k Followers Follow
Published in Peter Elbow
4 min read
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Writing is a powerful tool that allows us to communicate our thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It enables us to capture moments, share information, and connect with others in a profound way. But what if writing could be more than just words on a page? What if it could capture the essence of spoken language and convey the beauty of our everyday conversations?

This is where vernacular eloquence comes into play. Vernacular eloquence is the art of incorporating the natural rhythms, tones, and expressions of everyday speech into writing. It is about infusing our written words with the energy and authenticity that is often found in spoken language. By doing so, we can make our writing more engaging, relatable, and impactful.

The Power of Vernacular Eloquence

When we speak, we use a variety of techniques to convey meaning and emotion. We use intonation and emphasis to highlight important points, we pause for dramatic effect, and we even use gestures and facial expressions to add emphasis. All of these elements contribute to the overall impact of our speech.

Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing
Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing
by Peter Elbow(Illustrated Edition, Kindle Edition)

4.4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 2309 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 456 pages
Lending : Enabled

By incorporating these techniques into our writing, we can create a more immersive experience for the reader. The use of vernacular eloquence allows the reader to not only understand the message being conveyed but also feel the emotions and connect with the writer on a deeper level.

For example, instead of simply stating, "I was really happy," vernacular eloquence allows us to say, "I was over the moon with joy!" The latter not only conveys the feeling of happiness but also adds a touch of excitement and enthusiasm that is often lacking in straightforward writing.

The Importance of Authenticity

One of the key aspects of vernacular eloquence is authenticity. When we speak, our words are often accompanied by our unique accents, dialects, and linguistic quirks. These subtle variations add richness and depth to our conversations, making them more engaging and memorable.

Incorporating these aspects into our writing can help us create a voice that is truly our own. It adds a personal touch and allows our readers to connect with us on a more intimate level. But being authentic in our writing doesn't mean we should abandon proper grammar and punctuation. It means embracing our individuality while ensuring clarity and coherence.

Mastering Vernacular Eloquence

Now that we understand the concept of vernacular eloquence, how can we incorporate it into our writing effectively?

First and foremost, it's essential to listen and observe. Pay attention to the way people speak, the idioms they use, and the rhythm of their conversations. Take note of the expressions, gestures, and intonations that make their speech unique. These observations will serve as inspiration for your writing.

Secondly, practice reading your writing aloud. By doing so, you can better identify areas where vernacular eloquence can be incorporated. Notice the parts that feel stiff or detached and find ways to make them more conversational. This can be achieved by adding pauses, adjusting sentence structure, or using colloquial language.

Lastly, embrace experimentation. Vernacular eloquence is an art, and like any art form, it requires practice and exploration. Don't be afraid to try new techniques, play with expressions, and find your own unique style. Allow your voice to shine through and let the authenticity of your words captivate your readers.

Vernacular eloquence is a powerful tool that can elevate our writing and make it more captivating. By infusing our words with the energy and authenticity of spoken language, we can create a more immersive experience for our readers. So, let us embrace the beauty of our everyday conversations and bring the power of speech to our writing.

Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing
Vernacular Eloquence: What Speech Can Bring to Writing
by Peter Elbow(Illustrated Edition, Kindle Edition)

4.4 out of 5

Language : English
File size : 2309 KB
Text-to-Speech : Enabled
Screen Reader : Supported
Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
Print length : 456 pages
Lending : Enabled

Since the publication of his groundbreaking books Writing Without Teachers and Writing with Power, Peter Elbow has revolutionized how people think about writing. Now, in Vernacular Eloquence, he makes a vital new contribution to both practice and theory. The core idea is simple: we can enlist virtues from the language activity most people find easiest-speaking-for the language activity most people find hardest-writing. Speech, with its spontaneity, naturalness of expression, and fluidity of thought, has many overlooked linguistic and rhetorical merits. Through several easy to employ techniques, writers can marshal this "wisdom of the tongue" to produce stronger, clearer, more natural writing.

This simple idea, it turns out, has deep repercussions. Our culture of literacy, Elbow argues, functions as though it were a plot against the spoken voice, the human body, vernacular language, and those without privilege-making it harder than necessary to write with comfort or power. Giving speech a central role in writing overturns many empty preconceptions. It causes readers to think critically about the relationship between speech, writing, and our notion of literacy. Developing the political implications behind Elbow's previous books, Vernacular Eloquence makes a compelling case that strengthening writing and democratizing it go hand in hand.

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