Text Response Week #3

Writing is a Technology

Ong talks about how writing is “artificial” and also says that there is no way to write naturally (Ong, 81). I personally don’t think that writing is not natural. Yes, I agree that talking is a universal action and that it “implements conscious life”, but I don’t think that because you have more time to think about your thoughts and write it down that it is any less than speech (Ong, 81). I really like when he says that talking wells up into “consciousness from unconscious depths” because when you are talking to someone one you don’t have time to think about what to say you just say what you think is right in the moment. Later on in this same section Ong goes on to say that saying writing is artificial is not “to condemn it”, but to “praise it” because he agrees that it is essential for realization of fuller, interior human potentials”(Ong, 81). He also acknowledges that with writing comes more “ heightened consciousness”, which is something that is not present in speech. Therefore, here Ong starts talking about the benefits of writing being artificial. And even though I don’t agree with him when he says that writing is artificial, I agree that writing is necessary to help an individual make sense of the world around them. It is clear that he thinks writing has more substance than speech because there is more of an effort to what is being written than that of which is said in a moment. So basically what I took from this section of this chapter is the speech is real and set in a real time setting, while writing is more well thought out with no time setting. In another way I could see how writing could be held in a higher standard than speech is but I still think that there is a way to write naturally because one individual is developing those thought.

Once we started discussing in class what made writing artificial I began to understand more where Ong was coming from because for example the way we learn to write is artificial. Therefore the roots of writing influence the writing itself. Another thing that influences the idea of writing being artificial, deals with the fact that writing has become so internalized, further enforcing how the roots of writing influence it as a whole.


One thought on “Text Response Week #3

  1. This is a solid start for a text response: it draws on several specific passages in the Ong reading and begins making an argument against some of the details of his conception of writing. However, there are a couple of issues.

    First, and most importantly, the critique of Ong begins strong in the first paragraph, but then starts to fizzle out, and by the second para has essentially reversed to agreement. This makes it hard for a reader to understand what the core thesis or point of the piece is. Consider reworking it from start to finish with your current position regarding Ong in mind. Then, respond to Ong in some significant way, perhaps with an example from outside of Ong, the discussion of which could illuminate how you’re reading Ong now.

    Second, there are several grammatical and syntactical errors here (like extra words, missing words, missing quotation marks, etc.) that make the overall reading less clear.

    Keep working on this.


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