Written characters’ influence on speech
It comes up more often than you might think in conversations with people about linguistics, and what linguistics is. What it is not is grammar pedantry, especially when it comes to phrases like “I should of” or “you’re book is over there”. Those aren’t even grammatical issues; they’re entirely orthographical.
Of course there are possible isntances where the written word does influence the way we speak, and there are a number of readily available cases of this in Mandarin. Today I ran into my nemesis of spelling pronunciations: 秘鲁 Perú. The traditional pronunciation in Mandarin is bìlǔ, but since 秘 is 破音字, many people use the more common pronunciation for 秘 and pronounce the country name as mìlǔ. I’ve even met native speaking Mandarin teachers who were unaware of a bìlǔ pronunciation.
The other case that comes to mind is the word for “network”. In China, it’s wǎngluò and all is well. The characters are 网络 and no one writes otherwise (as far as I’ve seen). Meanwhile here in Taiwan, we don’t every say 网络. Well, I do, but I get corrected. Here the common word is 网路 wǎnglù, and I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever heard otherwise, and it’s a word I pay extra attention to, being one that I learned “incorrectly” in China. I can’t help but think there’s something orthographical behind this change.
Were I someone with a lot more free time I’d look into it.