Being-literate-in-the-world Philosophers have long debated the relationship between the world and the language we use when we try to describe or understand it. This work examines the status of knowledge and literacy in a multi-modal globalized world through a Heideggerian questioning of language and music, historically and in schooling. While naming a thing might empower us, it also constrains our potential as we are restricted to thinking and speaking about the world only on language’s terms. Our reality is expressed in words; we must settle for its limitations in our relationships with the objects, emotions, activities, ethics and education systems that shape our personal and social lives. We require the meta-conceptualization of structures, objects, properties and relations in order to form an ontology of knowledge that includes evolving representations, sensory understandings and embodied knowing. This aligns with recent philosophical moves that not only concern themselves with the formal nature and relations of being or existence, but also with the practices, vocabularies and styles of thought in a world of changing identities and domains of knowing.