Before writing was invented, speaking was the main mode of communication. And while orality—a term derived from the Latin word for the mouth—was central to culture before the invention of writing, writing has become absolutely central to contemporary culture. In a 2012 presentation on YouTube, workplace-writing researcher Professor Deborah Brandt describes how, over the last 50 or 60 years, the world economy has shifted from a base in manufacturing goods to a base in manufacturing services, that is, knowledge, ideas, data, and information. Importantly, writing also performs recognisable social functions that have increased in importance with the rise of social media. Although writing is a mainstream activity in most professions and an employee’s writing ability is likely to be critical to their career path, many of those who write in the workplace regard writing as marginal; they do not see it as essential to their working lives.