This episode's vocabulary
- Wrote down sth. (phrasal verb) - to record information on paper.
- Old-school (adj.) - old-fashioned; not modern.
- Typing (noun) - using a computer keyboard or a typewriter to produce documents or text.
- Fine-tipped pen (noun) - a pen with a very narrow ending to write with.
- Messy (adj.) - untidy.
- Eligibility (noun) - the fact of having the necessary qualities or satisfying the necessary conditions.
- Block capitals (noun) - a style of writing in which each letter of a word is written separately and clearly using the capital letters of the alphabet.
- The mists of time - used to show that something happened a very long time ago and is difficult to remember clearly.
- Scribbling (noun) - a careless piece of writing or drawing.
- Fully-fledged (adj.) - completely developed or trained.
- Oversimplification (noun) - the action of describing or explaining something in such a simple way that it is no longer correct or true.
- Insistence (noun) - an occasion when you demand something and refuse to accept opposition, or when you say firmly that something is true.
- Slip off (phrasal verb) - to fall away from or off someone or something.
Questions and Answers
M: So, Rory, do you often write things?
R: I think I wrote something down just about every other day, whether it's university notes or something I need to remember in my diary, it sounds pretty old-school, but there's evidence to suggest that if you write things down, then they stick in your head longer.
M: Do you prefer to write by hand or write using a computer?
R: Oh, almost exclusively with a pen and paper. I really don't like typing, even if it can be faster and more effective in terms of storage and options to edit. It's just the way I was brought up, and it's how my head works.
M: Do you often write things with a pen?
R: Again, almost always, I can't imagine writing with a pencil these days. Possibly I would draw with one but if I'm presented with a choice, then it's got to be a pen. And ideally, a fine-tipped one at that.
M: Is your handwriting easy to read?
R: Well, I certainly like to think so. Though, if I'm ever in a rush, then sometimes it can be messy and difficult to read, but it's hardly doctor's handwriting levels of eligibility. Especially since I usually write in block capitals, for example.
M: How did you learn to write?
R: Well, I'm not sure actually. Usually, start when you're quite young. So those early days are sort of lost to the mists of time. I did read a paper though that said, there are stages where it's just nonsense of scribbling. Then words with correct endings, and then fully-fledged words. It's an oversimplification, of course, but it was probably something like that for me.
M: Did you like writing things when you were a child?
R: Not really. My teachers in primary school had this relentless insistence on accuracy and weren't exactly encouraging if you slipped off or even wrote at a slight angle. So I'd always get negative feedback on how things looked rather than the structure and content of what had been written. I love it now, though. I think I write everything.
M: Rory, thank you so much for your writing. I mean, answers.
M: Oh, you're so old-school, aren't you?
M: Like you write with a pen and paper. But you use your phone, right? So use Instagram, you're on all over Facebook. And you kind of, you type on your phone. Right? How do you manage to do that?
R: Because, well, it's like, I use my phone, but I don't use it nearly as much as I use my, as much as I use a pen and paper for example.
M: Oh, so you use pen and paper more often than you type on your phone?
R: Oh, yeah, definitely. Wow.
M: Oh, yeah. You wrote your book with pen and paper first, and then you had to type it.
M: Oh my god. Wow, Rory the old-school Roro, Roro. Wow. Yeah, guys. If you are like Roro, Roro is his new name. Roro. You can say that I'm old-school. And I'm pretty old-school and I prefer a pen and paper. Okay. Maybe you prefer a stone and you carve things on a stone. Do they do this in Scotland?
R: No-no. They used to.
M: Oh, good. Carving notes. Carving love notes on a stone, on a Scottish stone. Okay. Anyway, write things down. Also, you can say note things down.
R: Yes. Writing is longer than noting though. Noting things down is short.
M: So Rory notes, things down. Yep, write it down. Note it down. The difference is that note it down like you use it for short things. Rory has a diary, like Bridget Jones's diary.
R: No, not like Bridget Jones's diary.
M: What do you write in your diary?
R: Just my schedule and things that need to be done. Which the list probably gets longer and longer as the week goes by.
M: But do you write something about your life? Like oh today, I realized that Maria is the most beautiful person I've ever met in my life.
R: No, I type that in my journal. That's different.
M: Oh, wait, so you have a diary with your schedule and you have an online journal? Like a blog.
R: I don't have an online journal. I just have a journal that I keep privately that's for my thoughts.
M: On a computer?
M: Oh, wow. That's nice. Rory said that there is evidence to suggest that if you write things down, they stick in your head longer. Stick in your head.
R: Yes, so if things stick in your head longer it just means you remember them for a longer amount of time.
M: Then when we talk about writing things, so do I say write with a pen, in a pen, by a pen, write by a pen? Can you say that?
R: Um, no, you're right with a pen, but you write by hand if you talk about what you're using to write with.
M: Oh, yes, dear listener, that's really confusing. I write by hand, or I type or I write with a pen or with a pencil. Rory, you've used a very specific vocabulary. So you use a pen, a fine-tipped one. So a fine-tipped pen. What is it?
R: Yeah, a fine-tipped pen is just it's got a very narrow ending to write with.
M: Then your handwriting can be easy to read or can be hard to read. So at the very beginning of the episode, we've said that it's basically illegible.
R: Yeah. So that basically means that you cannot read it.
M: And when you talk about illegible writing, you can talk about how doctors write. Because, yeah, doctors are notoriously known for their illegibility. Right?
M: So illegible is an adjective, and illegibility is the noun.
R: Exactly. And if it's illegible, then you might say it's scribbled rather than written a scribble is just like a really fast and messy, well, form of writing or drawing.
M: When you talk to somebody on your phone, you can scribble things, right, so like can draw and also doodle, right? That's the verb, to doodle things when you draw things.
R: Yeah, you can doodle in the margins.
M: Yeah, when you doodle you draw, and when you scribble you write things down.
R: Yes, usually. But sometimes when you write things down, you can make a mistake or you can slip up, which is a phrasal verb for making a mistake.
M: Oh, that's why I enjoy writing with a pencil because you can just rub it off when you slip up, you said.
M: So, Rory, what do you think? Is writing with a pen on paper is it dying out like dinosaurs.
R: Um, I don't see any evidence of that. I mean, more people are writing, they're typing. But I don't see people writing lists. It's probably just giving them more opportunities to have things to type.
M: Hmm. So we're still writing. And we are typing. Yeah, yeah, dear listener, if you don't write with a pen or pencil you can say like, I prefer to write on a computer. I prefer to type things, use a computer. Yeah, rather than to write by hand.
R: But hopefully we've given you plenty to write down.
M: Yes, and do check our other episode on handwriting. Okay? We have two now but now it's a current IELTS speaking topic. Thank you very much for listening. Hugs and kisses. Bye-bye!
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff:
Our Instagram: bit.ly/instagramswi
Our Telegram: bit.ly/telegramswi