Languages, being that form of technology constituted by dilation3 or uttering (outering) of all of our senses at once, are themselves immediately subject to the impact or intrusion of any mechanically extended sense.
The outering or uttering of mind under manuscript conditions, was (…) restricted. The poet or author was far from being able to use the vernacular as a public address system.
Closely interrelated, then, by the operation and effects of typography are the outering or uttering of private inner experience and the massing of collective national awareness, as the vernacular is rendered visible, central, and unified by the new technology.
All media are active metaphors in their power to translate experience into new forms. The spoken word was the first technology by which man was able to let go of his environment in order to grasp it in a new way. (…) Words are complex systems of metaphors and symbols that translate experience into our uttered or outered senses.
Speech acts to separate man from man and mankind from the cosmic unconscious.4 As an extension or uttering (outering) of all our senses at once, language has always been held to be man’s richest art form, that which distinguishes him from the animal creation.
Roles, Masks, and Performance (1971)
Was it Piaget who told us that uttering, or the outering that is speech, begins when the child stops clutching its toys and begins to drop them?
Before writing, logos was active and metamorphic (…) words and deeds were related as were words and things. The logos of creation is of the same order: ‘Let there be light’ is the uttering or outering of light.
all human artefacts are extensions of man, outerings or utterings of the human body or psyche, private or corporate. That is to say. they are speech, and they are translations of us, the users, from one form into another form: metaphors.
All human artefacts are human utterances, or outerings, and as such they are linguistic and rhetorical entities.
- As seen everywhere in the citations below, McLuhan regards human speech as a technological artifact — and vice versa. Speech and technological products could therefore each be used to investigate the other. ↩
- ‘Extending/extension’ and excluding/exclusion’ belong to the same complex. Each is defined by diachronic time in which one moment extends/excludes the previous one. ↩
- With the construction “dilation or uttering (outering)” McLuhan does not mean merely to equate “dilation or uttering (outering)”. Instead, the broader meaning here may be seen by reading ‘breathing in’ (by “dilation” of the mouth or nostrils) and ‘breathing out’ (“outering”). These are opposite but correlated actions. This is explicit in the citation from GG 199 below where “outering or uttering” is said to be “closely interrelated” with a “central, and unified” effect. ↩
- Cf Counterblast 1954 and 1969: “Until WRITING was invented, we lived in acoustic space, where the Eskimo now lives: boundless, directionless, horizonless, the dark of the mind, the world of emotion, primordial intuition, terror. Speech is a social chart of this dark bog. SPEECH structures the abyss of mental and acoustic space, shrouding the race; it is a cosmic, invisible architecture of the human dark. Speak that I may see you. WRITING turned a spotlight on the high, dim Sierras of speech; writing was the visualization of acoustic space. It lit up the dark.” ↩