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University of Winnipeg/Online Reading & Writing - ORaWiki/Electronic Writing

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Ferris's article, Effects of Computers on Traditional Writing:

- The medium which carries the content influences the way in which we recieve the message.
- Printed text is fixed; wheras electronic writing can be changed and/or disappear. 
- Academic books are updtated quite regularly (but it's not as easy or affordable)
- We "interact" with electronic text...it takes on characteristics of an oral society.
- The long term effects of electronic text and rapid visuals is uknown (if there is any serious effect at all).

--Kimania 19:47, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


I made the title of the article into the link for you, Kimania

edit by Kenena


Kenena - I'm just working on this right now - Kimania


Electronic Writing

In the Effects of Computers on Traditional Writing Ferris defines electronic writing as “the conglomerate of writing that can be done on and through the medium of a networked computer. This includes writing for asynchronous interpersonal communication (as in e-mail, mailing lists, newsgroups, and discussion groups), writing for synchronous interpersonal communication (as in chatrooms, MUDs or multi-user dimensions, and MOOs or multi-user dimensions, object oriented), and writing on the World Wide Web (including hypertext).”

Before the printing press society was largely oral. There were many great changes that took place in the time of the printing press. Yet, as the electronic age comes to fore, many new characteristics of writing begin to replace our traditional mode of print. According to Ferris “electronic writing is characterized by the use of oral conventions over traditional conventions, of argument over exposition, and of group thinking over individual thinking”. In other words, we are entering an age of what Walter Ong calls secondary orality, as we begin to see rapid visuals, shorthand writing, fluid writing, and other tools of communication that allow us to ‘interact’ with the text.

The medium which carries the content always influences the way in which we receive the message. Electronic writing cannot replace the luxuries of print, such luxuries include the personal interaction, the permanence of the writing, and the ability to read at our own pace by not having flashy graphics, movable images, and distracting music to take us away from the words. Electronic writing is necessary in our world, it is a requirement in our everyday life - not to mention, and it is entertaining. Electronic text and printed text each have their benefits and appropriate places in our lives.

Though it is still nice to snuggle up to a book on a rainy day and forget about the world.

Large book 1641

First off, in the section titled Fixity vs. Fluidity, the author brings up an aspect of electronic writing that had been written about by Lanham. The main idea is that "Binary code can be used to represent and character set, and therefore is not tied to a specific language or culture." I think that this is one of the weakest points made in the article. Our alphabet, the latin alphabet, is used for the written forms of countless other languages spoken by people of completely different cultures. So, our alphabet is really not tied to a specific language or culture either. It seems like they are trying to grasp at anything they can to make electronic writing a lesser medium than traditional print writing. Maybe this is because of the reluctance to accept new technology, as some of my classmates have discussed. Brendan


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