What is Orality?

If you hadn’t noticed, I say the word Orality a lot. But I’ve come to realize, my use it’s academically correct. And that I should take a moment and clarify. I mean…

“the quality of being oral or orally communicated”

That’s it.

It’s a word that has baggage that I throw away, and I’d like you to as well.

There seems to be some religious baggage. Looking over Twitter’s #Orality,  from what I can tell, some use it when referring to the artform of a sermon and preaching, and some use it when discussing bringing the bible to the illiterate.  While there could be overlap with religion – I do not mean anything religious when I use the word.

There seems to be some academic baggage. A few of the “big wigs” (Harold Innis, Eric Havelock, Marshall McLuhan and Walter Ong) had definitions floating around opposing Orality and Literacy. These words where exclusive. You lost your orality the moment you became literate. This also, is not what I mean. You can be both.

What’s nice – is in later years there have been more arguments supporting my current use and belief of Orality.

“orality is not what is spoken, but what allows one to speak.”

The same could be said that literacy is not what is written, but what allows one to read.

It’s a skill. Perhaps, once learned, it become more than that.

And there’s the big HINT HINT, WINK WINK.