Anything like this happening in your country? Want to tell us about it?

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in England has embarked on a study of what grammatical terms are needed to describe speech, and how some of these can be made explicit to children. This is a complex and largely unexplored area since the rules of language have until now been seen largely in terms of writing - almost as though speech were an aberrant form of written language. The QCA has brought in a leading linguistics academic, Professor Ron Carter of Nottingham University, to work with them on the project. The QCA sees the project as vital to primary teachers, who have to help pupils make the transition from speech to writing and understand the difference between the two forms.

I don't think grammar in writing is different from grammar in speech at all. You can write the way you speak and speak the way you write. So... what is that QCA really doing? Nothing, I guess. Playing cards instead of working, LOL. Emotion: smile
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I don't think grammar in writing is different from grammar in speech at all. You can write the way you speak and speak the way you write. So... what is that QCA really doing? Nothing, I guess. Playing cards instead of working, LOL. Emotion: smile

I agree in some part, Kooyeen. I think that spoken language and written language are not sharply divided but exist on continuum.

But, looking at specifics, Geoffrey Leech would say that conversation avoids elaboration or specification of meaning. Does written English do that?

Do these seem like characteristic examples of written English?

  1. This little shop ... it's lovely.

  2. I buy loads of you know records that I like.

  3. it’s just a really good rock and roll night you know what I mean, it’s sort of like you know like you know trash trashy sex drugs and rock and roll and you know what I mean it’s fantastic

  4. That yellow car, is it yours?

  5. They’re pretty good, those mince pies

  6. It should fit there cos it’s not that big I don’t think

  7. --------

  8. And what's your take on this extract from The Cambridge Grammar of English?

  9. "Full noun phrases

    The use of multiple modifiers before a head noun in a noun phrase rarely happens in everyday informal speech. Speakers are alert to the constraints which listeners are under in processing information. In informal conversation there is an overwhelming preference for a very simple structure of determiner (+ one adjective) + noun such as:

    Yeah it’s a big house, six bedrooms.

    (compare the possible alternative: It’s a big, six-bedroom house.)

    It’s a large house, lovely, just right.

    However, in writing, it is not difficult to find more complex adjectival structures:

    Living in a big, dirty, communal house eating rubbish …

    The cosy, lace-curtained house …

    Simple noun phrases are not a rule of spoken grammar, but it is a very strong

    tendency. Any speaker may use a structurally complex noun phrase in spoken

    communication (for example in a public speech or presentation), but in casual

    conversation they will probably be heard as rather formal. Similarly, a writer may

    wish to create a more informal, interactive and dialogic style and may make such

    choices for different expressive purposes."

Also, for Kooyeen:

"The following extract from an informal, casual conversation illustrates several of the important features of informal spoken grammar. The features are used regularly by speakers of British English across different regions and contexts of use and by speakers of different ages, genders, social classes and occupations. Potentially problematic areas for a traditional, written-based grammar book are highlighted in bold.

[Four speakers are sitting at the dinner table talking about a car accident that happened to the father of one of the speakers. At the end of this sequence they switch to another topic. I’ll just take that off and Have you got hold of it? are

references to a large pan which is on the dinner table.]

The = sign indicates an utterance which is cut short

The + sign indicates an interrupted turn which continues at the next + sign

A: I’ll just take that off. Take that off.

B: All looks great.

C: [laughs]

B: Mm.

C: Mm.

B: I think your dad was amazed wasn’t he at the damage.

A: Mm.

B: It’s not so much the parts. It’s the labour charges for=

D: Oh that. For a car.

B: Have you got hold of it?

A: Yeah.

B: It was a bit erm=

A: Mm.

C: Mm.

B: A bit.

A: That’s right.

B: I mean they said they’d have to take his car in for two days. And he said all

it is is straightening a panel. And they’re like, ‘Oh no. It’s all new panel. You

can’t do this’.

C: Any erm problem.

B: As soon as they hear insurance claim. Oh. Let’s get it right.

C: Yeah. Yeah. Anything to do with+

A: Wow.

C: +

A: Right.

C: ’t it.

A: Now."

This seems to be an area that few people on this forum have knowledge about or experience of. I think, as with the similar text posted the other day, you'll just get silly, rejectionary/reactionary answers to such questions here. Go try discuss it somewhere more enlightened.
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