June CommQuote

 

“Today we’re beginning to realize that the new media aren’t just mechanical gimmicks for creating worlds of illusion, but new languages with new and unique powers of expression. Historically, the resources of English have been shaped and expressed in constantly new and changing ways. The printing press changed not only the quantity of writing but also the character of language and the relations between author and public. Radio, film, TV pushed written English toward the spontaneous shifts and freedom of the spoken idiom. They aided us in the recovery of intense awareness of facial language and bodily gesture. If these “mass media” should serve only to weaken or corrupt previously achieved levels of verbal and pictorial culture, it won’t be because there’s anything inherently wrong with them. It will be because we’ve failed to master them as new languages in time to assimilate them to our total cultural heritage.”

–Marshall McLuhan
from “Classroom Without Walls,” Explorations in Communication
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1960)

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