Re: authenticity

Steve Finley (Finley@TTDCE1.COED.TTU.EDU)
Tue, 20 Aug 1996 08:30:10 +0000

>From Beth Baldwin:

"I won't go so far as to say that writing courses are a waste of time
either. But I do think that what should be required is a *rhetoric*
course instead. In other words, take the emphasis off of the writing
part and place it on the use of language to make meaning."

Not a bad idea--avoids the confusion about what good writing is,
where students get ideas about mechanics mixed up with ideas about
ideas. I know this violates the notion that "the medium is the
message," which to me is more of a soundbyte than an established
principle anyway (at least in this sweeping form), but it brings up an
interesting point: since you can mostly remove writing from the equation
and concentrate on rhetorical processes (necessarily expressed in
language), then maybe language is the real medium, and writing is a
different medium, really, a representation of language rather than "the
same thing." Or maybe any expression of language, oral or written,
is a step removed. Or maybe any definition of language has to
include that it is something expressed. Or maybe I ought to go read
Chomsky and Ong some more.

s finley