FIRST PARAGRAPH: EXIGENCE (or WARRANT)• Using Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding M.
FIRST PARAGRAPH: EXIGENCE (or WARRANT)• Using Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media, identify statements, observations, ortheories using the term “medium” (or the plural “media”) that merit serious attention orfurther investigation.• A confusing or misused word is not exigent. In fact, the warrant for definitions defaults todenotation, which leads to the next paragraph.
SECOND PARAGRAPH: EVIDENCE• DENOTATION is the primary source for questions of definition. The unequivocal andauthoritarian dictionary for English is the full Oxford English Dictionary. However,consultation of the Oxford English Dictionary for the term “medium” will prove veryproblematic. “Media,” however, is clearly the plural form of “medium.”• CONNOTATION is the secondary source for questions of definition because English hasan open and dynamic lexicon. A simple survey of a variety of English speakers will yield“connotations,” associated or affiliated meanings of a word, which could becomedenotations over time. Ask “What does ‘medium’ mean?” and “What does ‘media’ mean?”Respondents will offer a wide variety of connotations for “medium,” but most will state that“media” means something similar to “the mass media”; in this case, the connotations aremore problematic for media than medium.• Faulty SYNONYMS should be dismissed as potential evidence. The most common falsesynonym for “medium” and “media” is “technology.”• THEREFORE, the absence of functional denotations and connotations grants warrant orlicense to assert a functional and holistic denotation.
THIRD PARAGRAPH: ARGUMENT (AND PROOF)• All that precedes gives due license to argue a functional and holistic definition of the word“medium” in order to pursue the warrant in the first paragraph.• “Media” is simply misused, and does not require definition. It is the Latin plural form of“medium.” We now use “mediums” to avoid this confusion with “the mass media.”• Proof in context should be the last sentence of the argument, e.g., Therefore: “The radio isa medium of communication” may be stated “The radio is a [insert your definition] ofcommunication.” (Allow for media of production, transportation, and others.)
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