Amanda and I presented Ong in Intro to TNT . So, I thought that I would share the notes with everyone.

Ong in Orality and Literacy

Basic Premise of Orality Vs Literacy Dichotomy

While hedging his argument in his introduction to Orality and Literacy, Ong states that there are correlations between thought processes changing and the advent of writing–suggesting that literacy caused changes in the ways that oral societies processed information (3).

Orality is: Literacy is:
Formulaic (26)Mnemonic (33)

Additive (37)

Aggregative (38)

Redundant & Copious(39)

Conservative (41)

Close to the human lifeworld (Connected)(42)

Agonistic (43)

Empathetic and participatory (45)

Homeostatic (46)

Situational (49)

Heavily Stereotyped (69)

Memorized (57)

Hearing dominated (70)

Subordinative (37)Analytic (38)

Linear (40)

Disconnected (Materialistic) (42)

Objectively Distanced (45)


Abstract (49)

Sight Dominated (71)

Isolationistic (73)

Irrefutable (book says= truth) (78)

Technology (80)

Artificial + Natural (82)

Democratizing (89)

Magical (92)


Ong emphasizes that it is impossible for a literate culture/society to comprehend existence in an oral culture/society (12).

Hope this helps.