Friday, February 11, 2005

two passages from "An Exchange on American Sign Language and Deaf culture." (Gee, James Paul and Walter J. Ong, SJ. Language and Style 16.2 (Spring 1983): 231-237) in which Ong clarifies a few misconceptions:

"I have never maintained that the spatializing tendency in language is the product of writing, only that writing gives it certain specific intensities (which print further builds up in new ways), particularly regarding the use of surface to convey all sorts of meaning" (235).

and

"A written text is fixed, presenting words permanently and all at once, not in temporal sequence. Knowing the appropriate code, how to 'read' the text, enables the reader to introduce the words into time, to give them temporal sequences in his or her own consciousness" (235).

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