In Legends on the nets, Jan Fernback explains how oral culture has developed from past to nowadays,especially the unique type of oral folklore-urban legends. In addition, the author shows what functions oral culture and literate culture have and what the differences among primary orality, residual orality and secondary orality. Finally, he describes some main characteristics of oral culture. According to the article, urban legends are the most important symbols in the historical development of oral culture.
Urban legends can reflect the oral culture and the history of a country because they always talk to each other. Urban legends are a type of folktale, however, they are not like historal folklore, they are special and nature reflection of the main concerns of dividuals in the societies. They can also as responses to social confusionand reduce a threat of communcity’s mind, urban legends was starting from illiterate society and disappeared in literate society.
Moreover, the author mentions the oral culture and literate culture, oral culture provided western culture with some warning for community living. However, for literate culture, orality is inferior to the writing because writing is documented knowledge, but orality just reprents instantaneous so that it is not accurate. Even though, orality is still remaining big authority because they are captivated by its possibllity, like some urban legend can happened in real world. Futhermore, there are three different types of orality.
Primary orality is some ideas are just expressed by thought and verbal in culture without any knowledge of writing, for here, sound is really powerful. For residual orality, thought is expressed not only by verbal but also include writing literacy and technologies. I think the secondary orality is very important because electronic media technology are applied to orality, computer-mediated communication(CMC) is a kind of technology that Urban legends in cyberspace are performed and transmitted in texual can via.
Therefore, The online communicative structures create a type of culture wihich is different from both oral and literate cultures by changing not only the style of communication but also the way the writer and reader interact with it. Finally, there are some main characteristics of oral culture, first one is its formulaic style, some complicated ideas have to packaged in memory for recall. Second is its redundant, usually, speech tends to repeat earlier thoughts as part of telling a story. lastly, oral culture is additive, it ends to build one in addition to the other, rather than through complex grammatical form. In conclusion, we can know the development of oral culture in recent years. Although some oral cultures disappear in our normal life, fortunately, with the development of technology, CMC expanded its area as a powerful impact of the promotion of politics, global economy and education. Also, the proliferation of urban legends online illustrates the idea that cyberspace can be applied to primary orality its humanity and sociability in the textual environment.