Before and after our What Counts as Writing? exercise in class, I have always thought of writing as involving physical words. The purpose of me writing is to communicate in a more concise, effective manner.
I am particularly fascinated by the passage in Ong that says, “A text stating what the whole world knows is false will state falsehood forever, so long as the text exists.” This passage reflects on the power of books and writing. So long as a text exists, it has the potential of influencing a reader to thinking anything the author could possibly want.
I also find Plato’s argument that writing weakens the mind to be fascinating. On some level I agree. Especially for public speaking situations. Writing gives the speaker the option to be lazy and read from notes or slides, inside of speaking directly to the audience. It is also less interactive. A text can not immediately respond to someone’s commentary; a person can. It is just as important to be able to effectively verbalize an idea as it is to write it down.
This makes me think about my goals for the Minor. I want to be a strong writer, but also an equally strong speaker. By analyzing texts and exploring various rhetorical strategies, I hope to be able to communicate my thoughts in a more fluid manner.
I think writing is absolutely essential to the 21st century. More people are literate now than ever before. Not only that, but in many fields such as medicine, documentation is essential. Every thought, action, event is documented for the sake of legal rights and accessibility. Writing has (as mentioned in Ong) moved from being associated with magic, to ‘craft literacy,’ and now finally permeated every aspect of our daily lives.