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SGarza: June12VisualRhetoricIntroToPart3Trimbur

The introduction to part three made some really great points. The section itself really focuses on how typography and writing itself must be reevaluated. "Writing" as we (or I) have traditionally known it, is now being returned to "composition" to acknowledge that "...writing involves more than text," (225). The decision to not use visuals or to not explore typography is a choice of rhetoric. Whether this form of rhetoric will become increasingly irrelevant seems likely. We must focus on the preferences of the new age as opposed to cling to tradition in order to keep our field alive. I also thought it noteworthy that Trimbur asserted typography has been "ghettoized in technical communication" because I had a typography class that focused on tech communication and so I probably understand it differently than the author would hope.

Trimbur made a point that, while mentioned in English 5372 (the statement even being taken from Robert Connors) is really essential: even though we are post-process, we are not going totally against process. Instead, process is being integrated into the new method (260). "Writing...what promised to be the vehicle for rational discourse is, in the end, a trecherous medium that continually betrays its own ostensible transparency by thickening into metaphor and material form,"(262).

Chapter 17 by Solomon was really a description of typographical elements and their importance to a work. Punctuation usage is seen as giving the illusion of visual and audible dimension to words and give them vitality. I really liked my class on typography and I was trained by formalist teachers that told me improper usage of punctuation broke the thread of thought in writing so, much as I don't want to, I have to agree. Typography is central to how our ideas are conveyed and thus, a key element of visual rhetoric.

Chapter 18, Porter and Sullivan, dealt with how rhetoric and visual design theory should be implemented. Focusing on a student's tutorial for Aldus PageMaker?, the authors noted that "the tutorial's adherence to convention that is reflected in the visual consistency of the pages may have conflicted with the changes in the users, who are not static entities but people who change through the course of the tutorial," (297). Focusing too much on consistency prevented the student from gauging the changes in knowledge of the user and, the well-intended authority of the work, while beneficial in the beginning, ultimately became somewhat offensive to the users. Having read a lot of computer manuals and still been unable to do as much on the computer as I'd like to, I can relate. Instructions are difficult to write and our use of images and rhetoric must change to match our readers' needs and increased knowledge.

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Page last modified on June 11, 2007, at 06:07 PM CST