Ong's Paper

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Ong's Paper

Post  lmtiefenbrunn on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:56 pm

For this reading response, assess, from the beginning of Ong's writing, what his general argument is. Find two relevant quotes that help identify his argument in your response.

From the beginning of Ong’s writing, his argument is that literacy should be easy. It is a second nature, and is simple. It is this way because of the culture that we live in, constantly being surrounded with technology. "These views also by the same token block understanding of what writing itself really is.” Ong believes that it takes away from the true meaning of literacy. He explained that without an understanding of humankind before we had writing then we can’t grasp the concept of all that writing has done. He goes on to talk about how we wouldn’t and couldn’t think the way we do without writing.

Two quotes that sum up Ong's argument:

"Moreover, in high-technology cultures-which, more and more, are setting the style for cultures across the world since literacy is regarded as so unquestionably normative and normal, the deviancy of illiterates tends to be thought of as lack of a simple mechanical skill. Illiterates should learn writing as they learned to tie their shoe-laces or to drive a car. “

“This work has deepened our understanding of what I have styled primary orality, the orality of cultures with no knowledge at all of writing, as contrasted with what I have styled secondary orality, the electronic orality of radio and 'television, which grows out of high-literacy cultures, depending for its invention and operation on the widespread cultivation of writing and reading.”

"We can now view in better perspective the world of writing in which we live, see better what this world really is, and what functionally literate human beings really are-that is, beings whose thought processes do not grow out of simply natural powers but out of these powers as structured, directly or indirectly, by the technology of writing."

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