Topic 1: Increasing travels between countries enable people to learn different cultures or to increase tension between people from different countries

Topic 26: It seems that with the increase in use of mobile phones and computers, fewer people prefer to write letters. Will the skill of writing disappear completely?

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Topic 26: It seems that with the increase in use of mobile phones and computers, fewer people prefer to write letters. Will the skill of writing disappear completely?

Text messages, emails and letters are everyday communication tools, although nowadays, text messages and emails appear to gain popularity while letters are used less frequently. The fears that writing skills will be attached with less importance are rooted mainly in the concern that the growing popularity of mobile phones and computers is about to make emails and text messaging much more popular. Such worries are unsupported.

A majority of daily communications involve written correspondence, whether it takes the form of emails or letters. As different from communicating in speech, communicating in writing requires a large number of techniques. The prevalence of emails and text messages will not change the purposes, contents and conventions of communication, but merely medium, font or sentence length. For example, successful written communications are normally measured by clarity and accuracy, two elements that remain unchanged despite the upsurge in the use of text messages and emails. An email or text message sender should pay the same attention to such elements as vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, wording and tone as a letter writer does in order to make sure that the reader understands and interprets the message as intended. Any misunderstanding or misinterpretation will cause dire consequences.

Another fact to note is that all communication is interpersonal and interactive, thereby requiring information senders to use language properly and convey messages clearly and precisely. In order to become a successful communicator, one should plan, tailor, and devise his or her writing according to the characteristics of the reader. Writing a message without considering the intended reader will increase the possibility of poor understanding or even misunderstanding. For example, choosing the right tone in communication is of great importance. Readers make assumptions about people's mood and intentions and speculate on the implied meaning of the messages, according to the tone suggested by words. Getting the right tone is therefore an important writing skill that is likely to influence the success of communication. It is particularly true in cases where the messages people send contain emotional components. Failure to manipulate these components properly will cause discomfort or hard feelings of the reader.

The examples that are outlined above have apparently overturned the prevailing notion that writing skills will vanish sooner or later as a result of the increased use of text messaging and emails. Written communication requires a good understanding of the rules of language, such as grammar, vocabulary and tone. Without a good command of those writing skills, a communicator will encounter many awkward situations in daily communication.

  1. tailor = adapt = modify = alter

  2. assumption = supposition = hypothesis = notion = belief

  3. hard feeling = anger

  4. overturn = reverse = invalidate

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