Marshal Mcluhan: Proposing a Definition for "Medium"

Topics: Mass media, Marshall McLuhan, Human Pages: 2 (681 words) Published: April 19, 2012
Argument of Definition

Marshall McLuhan states in The Medium is the Massage that "all media work us over completely." (McLuhan, 26) Society is at the constant mercy of the media it utilizes. Media surrounds us to the point that no household in America can been seen without at least one medium. Media have become so integrated in life that people do not even realize or acknowledge their existence in the world around us. It has come to the point that people are blissfully unaware of the role of media and its influence on their world. A single medium holds the power to either help or hinder the person utilizing it. The utilization of the correct medium holds possibilities for wonderful success, while the wrong medium can lead directly to disaster. However, the common person would never know about this possibility due to their lack of awareness on the issue. The meaning of the word itself, medium, has been overshadowed by the widespread variations in acceptable denotations. Upon reviewing the evidence, it is clear that people are oblivious to the true meaning and importance of this issue.

The entry on medium in The Oxford Dictionary is extensive. Definitions range from "a screen fixed in front of a source of light in order to throw a colored light upon the stage," and an "intermediate between two degrees, amounts, qualities, or classes." (Oxford, 555) Media can been seen passively as the plural as media; however, it is overshadowed by "newspapers, radio, televisions, etc., collectively, as vehicles of mass communication." (Oxford, 542) Although these are both technically correct, they fail to completely encompass what medium and media should be defined as. Other websites begin to inch in the right direction, explaining a medium as "something intermediate in nature or degree." (Dictionary.com) However, the issue has spread to a wide spectrum of the members of our society. A number of age groups were queried on the definitions of the words medium...
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