ORALITY VS LITERACY : A Fight for Equality


By: Glannerry Kate Salarza and Reyban Sabordo


“No man is an island”

Perhaps, this is one of the most factual aphorisms I have encountered in my entire existence here on Earth. Indeed, no one and nothing could survive without the assistance of the other.

Now, how is this related to orality and literacy?

Throughout the years, these two cultures, oral and literate, have paved their way to get a spot in the realms of language and communication.

Orality, by definition, is a medium of language originated long before chirography was unraveled, whereas people communicate personally. Long ago, since there are no concrete basis or representations, the language our ancestors used was just merely vague sounds. In fact, it doesn’t matter even though they vary with the sounds as long as they understand each other. As a result of the face-to-face connection, conversations tend to be more additive, aggregative, redundant, conservative, close to the human world, agnostically-toned, empathetic and participatory, homeostatic, and situational, than usual.

Literacy, on the flip side, is one aid of connecting with other people in a chirographic demeanor. As years go by, humanity has learned and embraced the essence of communication through written letters, whereas they have come up with an idea to write all the things they want to say to the other person in a sheet of paper. However, in the fast-pacing world of today’s generation, technology has become powerful and influential to the people, especially the millennials. Today, technology has been a wide medium of communication. From letters, people can now communicate through text messaging, chat, e-mail, and the like. Through literate culture, conversations tend to be more analytic, copious, traditionalist, objectively distant, and abstract, compared to oral.

Though they vary in a lot of aspects, primary oral and literate culture have become “best buds” in the given field. Having being said that no one and nothing could succeed alone, we believe that orality and literacy are the support systems of each other. Thus, we do not consider orality as superior or inferior than literacy and vice versa. In lieu, we treat them just the same as a “win-win situation”. These two are interconnected cultures, meaning that they both are dependent with each other. Obviously, you cannot enjoy the zenith level of effectivity of each one by utilizing it individually. Orality and literacy may differ in model and medium of communication, but allowing them to work as one will be a perfect combo.

Hence, orality and literacy should be inseparable, and we should always bear in mind that every person or everything has its own unique trait. We are all different from each other, but that doesn’t mean that one is superior or inferior than the other. Never.




Ong, W. J. (1982). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. London: Methuen. Retrieved from: http://dss-edit.com/prof-anon/sound/library/Ong_orality_and_literacy.pdf

Photo References:

Croman, J. (2017). http://jakecroman.co/why-commitment-to-providing-equal-treatment-is-a-smart-business-move/



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