I am thinking of the various Holy Books and contracts between man. Thank you, namaste

asked 06 Oct '10, 13:29

daniele's gravatar image


I'm going to be the contrarian, I guess. Many faiths throughout history and around the globe have rich oral traditions that are passed down by spoken word and have various rituals which include both actions and spoken words. Just off the top of my head, I think of the importance among those of the Jewish faith and among Native Americans, of sharing traditions by spoken word to the next generation. There's a significant difference, I think, between reading something or saying, "My grandfather told me this." When we hear someone express their experiences and beliefs orally, it becomes more real, more personalized; and thus, it carries more influence (power) to make changes in the listener.

It has long been recognized that there is great power in a spoken word. For instance, in human relations, when you speak someone's name to them aloud, it is easy to establish a rapport with them. Historically, in various cultures, whether we accept it or not, speaking someone's name was believed to give one power over that person.

It is also commonly held that the best way to learn something is to teach it... i.e., optimally, to transmit our knowledge to another by spoken word. There's something about having to form our knowledge and beliefs into spoken words that engages a part of our brain with the task of organizing and clarifying the information and to find the most effective way to share it with others. In the process of putting these concepts into words, we come to a deeper understanding of them ourselves such that they have more power to affect our own lives.

Certainly, the spoken word is easily misinterpreted sometimes, as pointed out by the others, but so is the written word; and when a word is spoken, it carries the passion of the speaker along with the message. Think of speakers at rallies who whip up a crowd. Think of world leaders, heroes and tyrants who have given impassioned speeches that have moved vast audiences to action. Think of politicians (if we must). Would they prefer to hand out leaflets, or speak to an individual or crowd in person?

My belief (and I would speak it aloud to you if I could) is that the spoken word carries more power and influence than the written word.


answered 07 Oct '10, 06:29

John's gravatar image


Just thought where you'd gotten to dis-morning. :P

(07 Oct '10, 06:49) Liam

I agree with the points you made - I didn't think of them when I first read this question, but once you mentioned them it seemed obvious to me. I guess that shows the power leading questions can have on what I think about. :o

(07 Oct '10, 06:53) Liam

I often find that other people's questions and comments launch me into a thought process that wouldn't have happened on my own. It's like, "Oh, I never thought of that!" But then I used that as a springboard to develop my own thoughts on the matter.

(07 Oct '10, 07:08) John

Wow - Hi John, nice to "see" you again :)

(07 Oct '10, 07:40) Stingray

Nice to "see" you, too. Glad to see I haven't dropped off the Users list, either. I'm surprised I haven't dropped farther down. You've certainly made some valuable contributions to this website. Great work!

(07 Oct '10, 08:14) John

Happy to see you sharing your wisdom with us again :)

(07 Oct '10, 13:01) Michaela

Thank you, Michaela. I'm humbled by your kindness. I'm impressed with your accomplishments during my hiatus. Keep up the good work!

(07 Oct '10, 15:19) John

@John, very kind of you to say. Thank you. Yes, you are still on the users list but it looks like you'll have to lock up Uncle Vesuvius somewhere without internet access to regain your crown :)

(07 Oct '10, 18:08) Stingray

There seem to be ten others besides "Uncle Vesuvius" before I could regain the crown--but who's counting? Oh, and not least of whom happens to be you, Uncle Stingray. :) But, I'm not really aiming for the crown. I stopped in just to see how things were going, say a few hellos, and address a few topics. However, it's very easy for me to get addicted to this site and spend far too much time with it. So I'll have to see how it goes. Good to hear from you.

(07 Oct '10, 19:10) John
showing 2 of 9 show 7 more comments

I will pretty much side with John on this one, in my thinking that the spoken word is more powerful to inspire and move people. More of ourselves can shine through when we speak. But - I would personally put a disclaimer. That it has to be spoken by the right person

When John Doe speaks it means nothing - they are not in their words (I hope your last name isn't Doe, John - if it is I mean no offense :p). Their words are weak. Something spoken by the right person though has life in it and is far more moving than if they were to just write it down.

But if you want to bind someone, the written word appears more powerful. It has something going for it that the spoken words doesn't have - it rings out longer (which BridgetJones[diary?!] mentioned). More information can be accessed faster with the written word too - I would much rather read a book than listen to an audio book.

Since you mentioned bible in the tags, I will point out the confrontation of David by Nathan. David in the 2nd book of Samuel. David was well aware of "the law" - but it was only when Nathan went and told him the "words of the LORD" that David was moved to realize his apparent wrong doing.


answered 07 Oct '10, 07:55

Liam's gravatar image


No, it's not Doe. You make a good point about a word that is "spoken by the right person."

(07 Oct '10, 08:17) John

"As a man thinketh so is he". I believe that the thought is most important because a person can write or speak something that is not their truth. But they cannot hide from their thought and that is what will manifest. One cannot hide from that truth.


answered 07 Oct '10, 23:51

Drham's gravatar image


I agree, in fact written and spoken word could not exist without thought. I like what Neville Goddard said, "thinking is speaking quietly and speaking is thinking out loud."

(09 Oct '10, 23:06) AboveBelow

I like that quote

(13 Oct '10, 00:07) Drham

Hi, daniele!

The written word strikes me as more powerful than the spoken word, as you can read and re-read as many times as you like, and it's quite common that you find a different meaning everytime you re-read something. 'Words (spoken words) go with the wind', we use to say where I live. Besides, written words have also different meanings depending on the person reading them.

As to contracts, there are very honest men who say: My word is as good as a contract. And you can trust them that they will fulfill their promise. But there's not many men left of this kind unfortunately...

Hope this helps!



answered 06 Oct '10, 13:47

BridgetJones09's gravatar image


I think the spoken word can often be misconstrued or misinterpreted more than the written word. Verbal contracts are based on trust and unfortunately as a species we don't always hold to our word - it really depends on the integrity of the person making the contract.

The written word tends to be more powerful in that it can be used as concrete evidence when it comes to contracts and obviously it endures throughout the years although it too can be interpreted in many different ways - The Bible being a classic example of this.

When it comes to personal growth, I think there is more power in writing things down as it helps to reinforce what we learn, and when not written down we often forget those inspiring thoughts that pop every now and then.

And as BJ09 pointed out,quite often the more we re-read something, the more we discover new meaning or truth within it.


answered 06 Oct '10, 14:16

Michaela's gravatar image


the intonation of sound is an additional effect that is not available with the written word


answered 07 Oct '10, 11:15

fred's gravatar image


the spoken word is moree power full because youu can use expressions to go along with it but the written word can sometimes make no sence because peoplee use slang and when you speak you dont use slang you use formal languagee. this might not help but hayhoo!


answered 22 Nov '10, 21:52

kimmiiieeee's gravatar image


I understand what you're saying, good point!

(23 Nov '10, 09:41) daniele

Think of the spoken words of “I Have A Dream” by Martin Luther King speaking to thousands of people, and the power of those words and how it has impact upon us as a people, and as a nation! Had he not spoken those words, and had chosen only to write them down on paper to be read by his followers, it definitely would not have impacted upon us as it did with the spoken words!


answered 23 Nov '10, 07:55

Inactive%20User's gravatar image

Inactive User ♦♦

Good example! Thank you Vee

(23 Nov '10, 09:40) daniele
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