I think Johnson’s overall argument is that how can the people of ancient Greece understand what their writing even really means. Simply because it started out with no real structure like punctuation and grammar; and then it changes over time. So he is asking how do “people” change to be able to understand their cultural writings.
When it comes to the three main points I would say that the process of writing and how it came along over time is a big one. In the beginning of the reading Johnson lays out the structure of what writing is. On a Bankroll did symbols and words go down in a line of order followed by the next. Being that there were no real “rules” of writing in the start he questioned how can the culture of people reading this be understood. I think another important part is the break down of reading. He talks about different ways to read. They could have bankrolls read to them, or out loud to help get the meaning of the literature understood. Some even enjoyed partaking in a group reading. As the writing came more developed so did the reading. Once the culture had a common understanding of what they are reading and how they should read it, they would be able to have it affect them. On page 115 it states “the ideal of a reader who reads and rereads and thoroughly absorbs a text as a normative reading practice.” (Johnson) To me this shows that the skill of reading is being learned and used over and over again. Third is behavior the way one could react or learn how to behave in a particular society through literary works was important. Being able to read and understand gave them a chance to understand their culture and this history behind it. There was also political behavior that had to do with literary work. High powers wanted to change the way things were written because how it affected the language and what they thought was proper. On page 118 “ Roman elite has been doing this for a long time. Julius Caesar for example had definite ideas about what constituted proper latin.’ (Johnson)
One aspect I don’t understand or I thought distracted me a bit was how much history was involved. I found it a little distracting and it gave me a hard time with understanding the deeper context of the reading. I also don’t understand the overall logic of what reading has concluded as. It talks about how it has come a long over ancient years but I find myself having a hard time being able to see what reading is today and how there is a direct connotation from the ancient Greek and roman ways.
Media in today’s society is read in a sense like a script. When we watch the news, or some type of telecast there is a prepared script of what exactly to say. So the ones reporting know what they will be saying. In a sense that reminds me of a bankroll with no punctuation and just written out lines. So does the media today really know what they are reading and reporting, or is it just words and context that the public needs to hear? I feel like media are always twisting the story or getting called out for giving the news the wrong context. Just a thought I had.