Our Abstract World in Symbols

By: Mark Estil, Cedric Jamera, Angelo Nobleza


Imagine a world where everything around us is not actually real. Imagine a world where only our train of thoughts guide the planes of reality. Now, imagine a world where our thoughts, imaginations, and dreams can be shared with a group of fellow human beings with ease and with both of you understanding each other with the help of symbols and characters. That is the world where we live in.

“Orality” or primary oral culture are said to be very different from “literacy” or literary cultures in various other ways. Some experts say that both have their own similarities. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages depending in their uses, their application in the real world or in the abstract way of thinking, and to the culture that they are associated with.

The reality is, both are very well-connected to one another as they are indistinct to each other. They are both dissimilar in a way that orality or oral literature depends on the situation rather than the abstract ways of communicating. But, they can also be connected in a way that both use concrete examples to explain  an abstract thought more thoroughly.

Both do not coincide with one another in a way that, as Orality can persist as a sole medium of communication for a society. However, orality can only be exercised only up to the extent to which direct human interaction is permitted. On the other hand, one of the simplest examples of using concrete ideas to depict an abstract thought is through the use of real life examples to explain concepts which are vague, in-explicit, or unclear.

Another noticeable difference between the oral culture and literary culture is the oral culture being additive rather than subordinate. An example stated in Ong’s book “Orality and Literacy” is the creation narrative in Genesis 1:1-5 where the additive way of communication can be perceived.

Unlike oral culture, literary culture has a more organized but sophisticated way of communicating since it follows a proper structure to avoid misunderstanding in the meaning of the message they want to convey.



Ong, Walter J. 1982. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen, pp.31, 37-49

Orality and Literacy – In What Ways Are Oral and Literate Cultures Similar? (2012, September 30). Retrieved from https://blogs.ubc.ca/etec540sept12/2012/09/30/1150/


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