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ERIC Number: ED371426
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 26
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Return of the Addressed: Rhetoric, Reading and Resonance.
Van Mersbergen, Audrey M.
Communication scholars have dichotomized language into orality and literacy, with orality being the language of the "concrete" and literacy being the language of the "abstract." However, the human experience of language is not that simplistic. In daily linguistic patterns, written words and the "literal" are not clearly divorced from spoken words and the "oral." These realms are more fused than commonly thought. In other words, "language games" cannot be divided into clean-cut categories of either the oral or the written. Instead, language, either written or spoken, tends to be more or less rhetorical when it includes elements of euphony, drama or images. Reading practices in antiquity--a time when the written word was embodied in the spoken word--illustrates this contention. The linguistic practices of the sophists included the beauty of sound for pleasure-giving. In ancient Greece, reading without speaking the words seems to have been a rare happening. The balance between vision and sound shifted toward abstraction from the time that Plato said that phonetics and linguistics are not of supreme importance for the philosophic seeker of reality to the time that Aristotle valued sight as the principle source of knowledge. Reading is a practice not of an abstract intellect but of a concrete language. Reading is, in a word, "conversational." The rule of this practice is that the degree of concrete relevance through sound, story and sight determines the degree of rhetoricity. (Contains 28 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A