Writing is marks on paper or some other surface, or patterns of light and dark on a screen. Letters can be seen, but not heard directly.
It is incredible how difficult people find it to grasp the difference.
Several times last week, in our discussions of pronunciation, interviewers or commentators raised the matter of text messaging and the innovative spellings associated with it. But that is not speech! Other than occasional initialisms such as lol spoken aloud as lɒl, txtng has nothing at all to do with pronunciation. It is a matter of writing, not speech.
Other commentators, under the heading of pronunciation, complained not only about “text talk” but also about misplaced apostrophes.
Apostrophes, whether misplaced or not, are not part of speech. They are part of our writing system. Why don’t people get it? Even highly educated journalists?
Perhaps one reason for the confusion is the common sense of ‘pronounce’ in the sense of ‘say letters aloud’ (er... you can’t actually do that), i.e. ‘say the sounds corresponding to written letters’.
The letters ng are pronounced ŋ, or sometimes ŋɡ or ndʒ.
Spanish has a letter ñ, which is pronounced as a palatal nasal.
But this rests on the fallacy that writing is primary, speech secondary. It implies that when we speak we are merely supplying sounds appropriate to the written form of the words we use.
If that were so, how could the illiterate ever speak at all? How is it that children learn to talk before they learn to read and write?