Mandatory Definition

655 Words3 Pages
Is a “Fox News Alert” a piece of vital information that must be adhered to immediately or just a metaphor for another piece of trivia, useless information? Before the invention of the telegraph in the mid-nineteenth century, not only would a minor news alert be impossible but also “the news of the day”. America, in colonial times and then on through to the middle twentieth century, when television would come to dominate the as the preferred medium of information, America was submerged in a culture dominated by the influence of the printed word. As Neil Postman writes in Amusing Ourselves to Death, in the chapters “Typographic America” and “The Typographic Mind”, he explores the influence of a print-based culture in the realms of education,…show more content…
In the initial days of colonization, community ministers were funded to start religious libraries. While the Bible was central reading in all households, it was supplemented by other printed material. The “Bay Psalm Book” published in 1640, is often referred to America’s first best-seller. Just as on the lecture circuit where print style oratory dominated in behind the pulpit also. Sermons consisted of written speeches, quite stately, cold, and distinguished, with an impersonal tone. Even with the rise of the Great Awakening, which arose in opposition to the cold, analytical Deist movement, their oratory could quickly transform into the printed word. In fact, after attending a Great Awakening, superstar, George Whitefield extravaganza, Ben Franklin secured the publishing rights for the famous preacher. It was not just matters of religion for Ben Franklin that held his publishing interest, perhaps more importantly, he recognized the value of the printed word in persuading the public in matters of government and politics. Franklin notes around the times before, during, and after the American Revolution; Americans were busy reading newspapers and political pamphlets; little time was left for reading books. Complicated essays concerning the new emergence of a democratic- republic style of government emerged in the form of the “Federalist Papers.” These important government document documents were originally published in a New York newspaper that was read widely in both the North and the South. Feasibly nowhere more significant is the influence of the typography culture exhibited in politics than in the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. For the audiences attending these events the remarkable ability to understand long, convoluted, complex sentences when hearing them. Don’t misunderstand
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