The Emergence Of A Literate Culture Essay

1340 Words Oct 26th, 2014 null Page
When reflecting on the history of communication, the rapid and accelerating development of technologies impose several paradigm shifts throughout the ages. In the ancient world, meaning was conveyed through the inflection of speech. With the emergence of word order standards, the structure of language expanded and the publishing industry was born. As the written word influenced the growth of a literate culture, individuals’ intellectual capacities would be challenged by the necessity of decoding text. Dating back to the collapse of the Roman Empire, the written word perpetually focused on accommodating the unique appetite of readers. As people became more literate and demanded a quick and private reading environment, a “revolution in the structure or language” (Carr 63) erupted to serve reading as a means of personal instruction and improvement. When discussing the changes of literacy over time, it is apparent that reading is not an instinctive skill for human beings. Moreover, reading is a “complex set of physical cognitive and social practices” (Carr 107) that have been shaped by culture. In Marshall McLuhan’s most famous proclamation, “the medium is the message,” the media theorist highlights his concern for the social and psychological implications of how changing a medium alters the message it carries; when we consume information from a book, it carries a different message than when we consume the same information from the Internet. In the past two decades, the…

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