Orality and Literacy

Ong discusses the power writing gives which exceeds any oral dialect. Every society and culture has a language but many of these languages have disappeared before writing came into existence. Even now there are hundreds of languages that are in active use but cannot be effectively translated into a written form. “Oral expression can exist and mostly has existed without any writing at all, writing without orality.” Wong is stating that literacy is dependent on spoken language. Societies that are in primary oral cultures do not “study”, rather they listen, repeat what they hear and master these skills which gives them great wisdom. In our high technology culture, we depend on writing and print but we still preserve and use oral dialect.

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1 Response to Orality and Literacy

  1. Christine, please edit this post. It is often considered academic sacrilege to get the author’s name w(r)ong.

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