I'm ideally looking for a single word adjective with an -al suffix. i.e. similar to 'verbal', and 'visual' but that relates to written communications rather than spoken or illustrative communications. Does such a word exist?

I'm trying to create a bit of wordplay about different communication methods.

Thank you!

  • 1
    verbal is more ambiguous than oral for spoken communications, as it can simply mean using words
    – Henry
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 22:36
  • @Henry oral can mean spoken, by mouth, or pertaining to the mouth, but never means simply using (unspoken) words. Commented May 17, 2016 at 18:46
  • @JohnFactorial: I do not think we disagree
    – Henry
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 19:02

3 Answers 3


One normally uses textual to indicate that something is written, for text is normally written.


You could try 'scribal' - of or relating to a scribe... 'Scriptal' does not, unfortunately, seem to exist!

  • 3
    Adding a source for the meaning of scribal would strengthen this answer. Commented May 16, 2016 at 17:01
  • From Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.)
    – user175507
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 17:05

Literal means 'pertaining to letters of the alphabet.'

  • 1
    And of course alphabetical
    – Jim
    Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:31
  • 10
    Two completely correct answers that would utterly mislead the reader if used. :-) Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    @DJClayworth true! Everyone uses 'literal' in the figurative sense now, to mean 'in actual fact'. :) Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:57
  • 6
    Most people use 'literally' to mean 'metaphorically' :-) Commented May 16, 2016 at 16:59
  • 1
    What do you think is the meaning of 'literally' in that sentence? 'Metaphorically' would fit right in. Commented May 17, 2016 at 3:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.