Two introductory ands each submerged in a compound sentence The Douay renders

Two introductory ands each submerged in a compound

This preview shows page 2 - 4 out of 6 pages.

Two introductory ‘ands’, each submerged in a compound sentence. The Douay renders the Hebrew we or wa (‘and’) simply as ‘and’. The New American renders it ‘and’, ‘when’, ‘then’, ‘thus’, or ‘while’ to provide a flow of narration with the analytic, reasoned subordination that characterizes writing (Chafe 1982) and that appears more natural in twentieth-century texts. … Written discourse develops more elaborate and fixed grammar than oral discourse does because to provide meaning it is more dependent simply upon linguistic structure, since it lacks the normal full existential contexts which surround oral discourse and help determine meaning in oral discourse somewhat independently of grammar. … (ii) Aggregative rather than analytic This characteristic is closely tied to reliance on formulas to implement memory. The elements of orally based thought and expression tend to be not so much simple integers as clusters of integers, such as parallel terms or phrases or clauses, antithetical terms or phrases or clauses, epithets. Oral folk prefer, especially in formal discourse, not the soldier, but the brave soldier; not the princess, but the beautiful princess; not the oak, but the sturdy oak. Oral expression thus carries a load of epithets and other formulary baggage which high literacy rejects as cumbersome and tiresomely redundant because of its aggregative weight (Ong 1977, pp. 188-212). …
Image of page 2
(iii) Redundant or ‘copious’ Thought requires some sort of continuity. Writing establishes in the text a ‘line’ of continuity outside the mind. If distraction confuses or obliterates from the mind the context out of which emerges the material I am now reading, the context can be retrieved by glancing back over the text selectively. Backlooping can be entirely occasional, purely ad hoc . The mind concentrates its own energies on moving ahead because what it backloops into lies quiescent outside itself, always available piecemeal on the inscribed page. In oral discourse, the situation is different. There is nothing to backloop into outside the mind, for the oral utterance has vanished as soon as it is uttered. Hence the mind must move ahead more slowly, keeping close to the focus of attention much of what it has already dealt with. Redundancy, repetition of the just-said, keeps both speaker and hearer surely on the track. Since redundancy characterizes oral thought and speech, it is in a profound sense more natural to thought and speech than is sparse linearity. Sparsely linear or analytic thought and speech is an artificial creation, structured by the technology of writing. Eliminating redundancy on a significant scale demands a time-obviating technology, writing, which imposes some kind of strain on the psyche in preventing expression from falling into its more natural patterns. The psyche can manage the strain in part because handwriting is physically such a slow process—typically about one-tenth of the speed of oral speech (Chafe 1982). With writing, the mind is forced into
Image of page 3
Image of page 4

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 6 pages?

  • Spring '18
  • Santelices
  • The Bible, Orality, Walter Ong

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask ( soon) You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors