James Paul Gee
Afterword to Sheridan & Rowsell, Design Literacies: Learning and Innovation
Publication year: 2010

Humans are creatures of language. Our very ability to form cultures and societies is due to language. And yet cultures and societies have always seen language as potentially dangerous to  the very social order it helps create. Before literacy, societies almost always restricted who could speak publically and officially. Often it was priests, leaders, and elders who spoke and others who listened. In many societies it was, and still is today, fine for people to speak and listen where and when they want so long as what they talk about is “mundane”. But they dare not speak or listen to treason or heresy as these are defined by the powers that be.