Into the digital, oral era

Print edition : November 01, 2013

Chatting on an online platform in Karachi, Pakistan. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, SMS, blog, or any of the many chat-and-interact fora in the digital social media, there is an oral multi-sited discourse that adapts to the technology that enables or “pushes ” it . Photo: Asif HASSAN/AFP

A statue of Greek philosopher Socrates in Athens. Writing was an illegitimate offspring of the original spoken word for him. Photo: John Kolesidis/REUTERS

Jacques Derrida. He rescued writing from subservience to speech, to which influential intellectual opinion had relegated it for long. Photo: JOEL ROBINE/AFP

Umberto Eco. He traces the origin of the spoken word, in the Western tradition, to genesis, pointing out that creation itself arose “through an act of speech ”. Photo: T. Singaravelou

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