I’ve been thinking today about the differences between spoken and written language, and having a Radio 4 moment.

I caught a bit of Book of the Week last week – it was author Annie Proulx’s autobiographical Bird Cloud, which gave a glimpse into how a writer works (she writes in a room with a view, even though there is a writing room with no distractions. All writers need a gaze point: mine is a large Victorian brick wall with blue metal-framed windows and the occasional rooftop pigeon.)

Is it odd hearing a book about a writer and the process of writing spoken on the radio? Media will eat itself.

Then I listened to Americana from a few weeks ago about the language, accent and dialect of people from Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, USA. Because they are so isolated, the islanders’ language has evolved on its own terms, and sounds like some crazy southern drawl crossed with Cornish. I wonder if anyone’s attempted to recreate the dialect in written form.

And then there is some writing that is best read aloud. John Cooper Clark’s poetry, for instance.

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