According to Walter Ong, an influential scholar of the relationship between technology and media, "Literacy is imperious. It tends to arrogate to itself supreme power by taking itself as normative for human expression and thought. This is particularly true in high-technology cultures, which are built on literacy of necessity and which encourage the impression that literacy is an always to be expected and even natural state of affairs" (316). Ong would probably agree that literacy is so embedded in our current technological culture that it has become part of the standard of living, a necessary requirement for functioning in this highly professionalized world. However, the point of Ong’s prior statement is not that writing is only a necessity but that writing is a necessity which has become so internalized it is often taken for granted. The process of writing is a highly evolved, technological entity often revered as a "natural" part of life when in reality writing has been artificially created by man.
Writing is very much an artificial creation, not a natural occurrence. To illustrate how true this is and how much writing is taken for granted and internalized as natural to humans, an experiment was done. Students from Eastern Michigan University’s English 328: Writing, Style, and Technology class were challenged to invent a writing technology without using any manufactured utensils such as pens, pencils, paint, brushes, white-out pens, nail polish, electronic devices or paper. The purpose was not to invent a new alphabet but to invent a new method of writing. In addition, the assignment required the consideration of four other elements: permanence, portability, creativity, and the extent to ...
... middle of paper ...
Beginning with the first written script of the Samarians, writing has been developed and integrated into world cultures. Many cannot imagine speech without writing, and U.S. culture would probably have difficulty functioning without writing. So, to say that writing is natural is one of the most incorrect statements of all time because, in truth, writing is one of the most invaluable, and highly-developed technologies existing worldwide today.
Barron, Dennis. "From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies." Writing Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Comp. Evelyn B. Tribble & Anne Trubek. New York: Longman, 2003. 35-53.
Ong, Walter. "Writing Is a Technology that Restructures Thought." Writing Material: Readings from Plato to the Digital Age. Comp. Evelyn B. Tribble & Anne Trubek. New York: Longman, 2003. 315-337.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Inventing” A Writing Technology When we originally were given the criteria for this assignment, I knew right away what it was that I was going to do. I love being creative and sharing my ideas with other people, I like to think of myself as somewhat of an original person. My idea would initially satisfy all of the given criteria: permanence, portability, creativity, and naturalness of the components used to compose my creative piece of writing. Growing up, my brother and I would venture out when the creek was frozen and play on the ice for hours on end.... [tags: Teaching Writing Education Essays]
1075 words (3.1 pages)
- Inventing a Writing Technology At first glance, inventing a new writing technology seems like an easy task. The pencil is a writing technology, and what’s so complicated about it. It appears to be a fairly primitive writing utensil. Certainly, I can conjure up something that reasonably fits the description of a “new writing technology.” But looking a little more deeply, I have to consider that the basic concept of the pencil has lasted for centuries – it apparently serves its purpose extremely well.... [tags: Literature Techniques Papers]
2007 words (5.7 pages)
- When I first started thinking about this assignment, lots of different ideas ran through my head from sticks and sand to pond muck to baking, but I kept running into the fact that almost everything that I thought of utilized some sort of manufactured tool. Ultimately, since I have a soft spot for anything edible, and since fruit is a ready resource in nature, I went to the produce section of the grocery store for some berries and a surface. My problem then though was the fact that paper and traditional writing surfaces are also a technology.... [tags: Invention Writing Technological Papers]
1356 words (3.9 pages)
- Dough Writing Writing, to many, is not seen as a technology. This everyday, innate, task is easily over looked especially in today’s modern world of high tech computers, cameras, phones, and palm pilots. It’s hard to imagine at one time people actually invented this thing called the alphabet, somehow made each letter represent a certain sound, then by combining this with other letters and sounds made words. But someone did and we, as a society, forget that and take writing for granted. We do not think about writing or its intricacies when we are in the act of writing.... [tags: Writing Technology Inventing Essays]
1475 words (4.2 pages)
- Natural Technology With all the technological advancements and ingenious inventions our culture and world have been introduced to, it is difficult to remove ourselves from what we are accustomed to and what our expectations are of technology, in order to dwell on what technology really is. Technology, to many, may be any appliance that uses a battery or has to be plugged into an outlet in the wall in order to work. When a person thinks of writing technology, similar thoughts may take place.... [tags: Inventing Technology Writing Essays]
1352 words (3.9 pages)
- Inventing Your Own Technology When college students are asked to write a term paper or an essay they can either get out their pen/pencil and paper or boot up their computer and write/type away. I never realized what a convenience it is to be able to have these simple an complex technologies at my fingertips until I took Writing, Style and Technology. That was when my paper writing philosophy was broken. My teacher gave us a plot twist on our fist writing assignment like “boys vs. girls” on Survivor.... [tags: Writing Nature Writers Education Essays]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- Creating a Writing Technolgy This paper is an analysis of the assignment given to "create" a writing technology. The attempt must be made to write a twenty (or fewer) word text using natural materials only, that is, materials that have not been processed, produced, or man-made. The goal is to create a writing technology that uses natural materials, that has permanence, that is legible, and finally, that is creative. I stumbled onto my "paper" when I found large pieces of bark that had fallen off tall trees on campus.... [tags: Invention Inventing Writing Essays]
1269 words (3.6 pages)
- Creating a New Writing Technology "Writing, in the strict sense of the word, as has already been seen, was a very late development in human history. The first script, or true writing, that we know was developed among the Sumerians in Mesopotamia only around the year 3500 BC, less than 6,000 years ago. The alphabet, which was invented only once, so that every alphabet in the world derives directly or indirectly from the original Semitic alphabet, came into existence only around 1500 BC" (Ong, 323).... [tags: Invention Writing Technology Papers]
1294 words (3.7 pages)
- The Power Of Writing When I entered this class I didn’t think that we would be discussing the concept of writing. In fact, I never thought the concept of writing was that complicated enough to be discussed in a classroom setting. However, as demonstrated throughout history different forms of communication, such as writing, have shaped and evolved human interaction and invoked societal change. For example, in Walter Ong’s essay, “Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought,” Ong acknowledges that means of communication, such as the computer and pencil, have been in argument since Plato’s time (319).... [tags: Teaching Writing Education Essays]
1008 words (2.9 pages)
- When reading novels about time travel, invisibility, and extraterrestrial beings, one would most likely assume that these novels have been written in the modern day. Interestingly, novels about these scientific topics were written by author H. G. Wells in the late 19th century. H. G. Wells is well-known as “a man ahead of his time,” being recognized for writing novels about advanced scientific concepts that had never crossed the minds of other people who lived during his lifetime. In addition to being knowledgeable in the sciences, H.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Time Travel, Invisibility]
1712 words (4.9 pages)