Monday, January 23, 2012


The collections of designated symbols we call words can be read or heard. The 2nd cranial nerve will mediate the written word to the occipital cortex. The spoken word will be mediated by the 8th nerve to the temporal lobe. These different entry points and imprinting areas will inevitably lead to differences despite the excellence of the subsequent processing and integrative activity of the brain. I have insufficient knowledge to support that point of view, but Common Sense and Ockham's Razor are always of some value. The symbols you see, do not necessarily reflect the symbols you hear. Moreover the acuity between seeing and hearing may be variable and lead to dramatic differences. Since these symbols have become the stuff of communication, then oral and written language is the stuff of life. Many have developed listening skills that commit much of what they hear to memory. Others have highly refined visual skills and are visual learners; reading and writing to lead to retention. Both points presuppose equal acuity with eye and ear. When my colleagues and I speak from the written word on Friday next, we will transport the visual symbols to the listeners ear. It will go from our imprinted thoughts from the occipital cortex to the spoken word to the listener's ear to their temporal lobe cortex. The symbols will be filtered and compounded for the listener by their neurons of intellect and good taste, rage and ecstasy! (I'm getting overheated, but what the hell!) Whether oral tradition could ever translate to written tradition: whether Phoenician symbols and tongue could ever translate to Greek symbols and tongue: whether the passion in the masterly writing is the same as in the passion of the spoken word:whether the right brain of the listener engages the left brain of the speaker, and what's the result: all is a mystery to me.

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