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The Effects of the Medium - Summary of Styles | English

Chapter Seven

The Effects of the Medium - Summary of Styles | English

The Effects of the Medium

The Effects of the Medium - Summary of Styles:


The medium of the expressions affects the style of a text. This may be a matter of conventions of politeness or layout. It also may be of convention of constraints made by the channel of communication. Style is shaped by medium that the writer or speaker used. Speaking provides, different limitation and opportunities that that of writing. Headlines, slogans, postcards, inscriptions and carving of grave stone affect the style because of the limited physical space. Television commentary is different in style than radio and newspaper commentary and reporting. Likewise, advertisement uses economy of expression. For example: ‘Car for sale’ instead of writing ‘I have a car for sale’.

Verse or poetic line is another medium where restrictions play an important role. In English, in poetic line, a set of number of syllabus are used. It follows the stressed and unstressed syllabus. The text of live commentary in radio is always longer than the commentary in television. So, the medium of text determines the length of a text. The television commentator doesn’t have to represent in words what television viewers can see. This means the role of television commentator is slightly different from the radio commentator. A radio commentator tries to give an impression of the ways things are going on. She/he must try to give a relatively objective view point.

Report is different from commentary. It is summary written after the period. In this type of writing, reporters have had a lot of time to reflect what were the turning points and important moments. Therefore, the selection of word is considered. Radio commentary doesn’t often include ‘be’ words and also the name of the players. They tend to use non-standard language. Unlike, radio commentator, a report uses comparatively standard form. His/her style is relaxed, standing back and passing knowledge that remarks the serve of completeness. The role in the report doesn’t produce immediacy but reflection. There are differences between the sentences used in television and radio commentaries. A radio commentator begins the sentences more often with ‘and’ that the television commentator doesn’t.

Sentence is difficult to define in an oral text. However, the television commentator doesn’t. The use of such linking words makes the sentence longer, so that, they have one clause dependent on another. It describes the cause and effect relationship. In report writing, the reporter has enough time to think about the event. So, they can conclude the events which happen several minutes apart into single complex sentence. The report allows the writer to experiment with draft until s/he is satisfied because of the change in medium. The commentator has to tell everything quickly so, they tend to use ‘and’, ‘but’ etc. because it is the feature of spoken language. A very important difference between spoken and written text is the density of meaning. Written language is tentatively more compact than spoken language or discourse. Speech tends to use words like and, he, as, for, be, on and the function words are greater in the spoken text. The density of context words is called lexical density. It diverges in different types of writing. It is of higher amount in written in discourse than that of spoken discourse. It means spoken language is less dense than written language.


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