Spoken communication is different from written one, and each of them has its own distinctive features. Both spoken, also known as oral, and written, non-oral, communications are two types of verbal communication which refers to the use of words to convey a message. Yet, spoken communication is often used informally while the written one is utilized formally, which implies strictly following language standards and rules.
Additionally, spoken communication is synchronous, which means that it occurs in real-time, while written communication is asynchronous, in other words, taking place over a certain period of time and not immediate. Written communication also tends to be recorded while the spoken one, even though there are technological means to do it, is rarely recorded. Finally, as a result of the fact that written communication can be recorded, it can cease to stay private if a third party discovers a way to retrieve the recorded messages.
Verbal communication relies on symbols in order to function as a system understood by numerous people. All symbols constitute representations of different ideas, actions, and objects utilized in order to decode or encode meaning.
Symbols have three distinct qualities; namely, they are abstract, ambiguous, and arbitrary. Symbols are abstract because they have no physical or material manifestation in the real world, and they only function as representations of other objects and ideas. Symbols are also ambiguous, which indicates the fact that they can have several meanings which representing different objects or ideas simultaneously depending on certain contexts. Finally, symbols are arbitrary; in other words, they have no direct relationship with the objects they represent since, in order for them to work, people have to agree on their meaning first.