The Style of Digital OralityPosted by Time Barrow on November 18th, 2007
Categories: digital orality
This is sort of a continuation of yesterday’s discussion on residual styles following the transition from oral to literary and then on to (not back to) a new orality. When considering the ways in which we organize our speeches, podcasts, etc., are there identifiable styles and inspirations? There are various types of podcasts, so there is no set or even general style. However, one of the most common is the radio show format. The organization and arrangement of the recording is based on this radio show format. The podcaster, whether fully intended or not, takes on the common, perhaps cliché, persona of the type of DJ he or she associates with that format.
The residual style that affects digital orality is a mixture of writing and or orality. There is the opening statement or welcoming of the viewer. This stems from the public or stage presentation of welcoming the audience. However, that tradition can also be seen in the chirographic and literacy histories with lines like “Dear Reader.”
Sentence structure and sentence length vary depending on the general style and genre of the podcast. For example, they can be very casual, with a random, sometimes low-diction, disorganized, tangential style, including poor (or at least informal) grammar. Other podcasts are more formal, with full, structured, organized sentences and ideas. Due to this diversity in style, it is difficult to generalize too many points. However, what is important to note is that while oral in nature, they do not use mnemonic devices, such as rhythmic structures, to help the speaker through the speech by prompting recollection of certain ideas. Rather, more like writing, one often uses outlines, full scripts, or even scrolling text to read or use as prompts (see Podcast Autocue).