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SGarza: June18HandraIntroToPartFour2223And24

The arguments on visual rhetoric for this section dealt with how to resist "...overlooking the rhetorical function of graphics, small or large, which we might often find so easy to ignore or to dismiss subconsciously as decoration," (Handa 305). Indeed, Lanham, the author of chapter 23, argues that decoration or ornament always serves a purpose and is not merely ornamental, "It feeds a genuine human hunger, the hunger for style," (370).

Though our society long neglected the image and, to this day, prizes words more highly, "words are just as imprecise as images since explicitness for both rests on the contexts in which we use them," (306). Shauf, the author of chapter 22, also made the noteworthy point that use of the visual, particularly as it ties to media usage, (drawing->photography->film->video->new media) does not actually have such a linear progression. Writing and visual work off of each other to convey information and have as long as both have been established. As with different media, one does not necessarily outrank another and make it obsolete, all have their own place and attempt to convey in different, and often harmonious, ways. This does not mean, though, that any useable technology should be used to fill a situation. As Shauf noted, in regards to watching "insufferable" wedding videos with friends, "It is easy enough to engage the technology, but one must ask to what end, for what rhetorical purpose. Going beyond the photo album is, of course, no reason to go at all," (368).

Visual rhetoric must be done to convey information effectively, not simply because it can be. While we are finally learning the importance of images to storytelling, just using visuals because we can does not add to the conversation or in any way, help us to convey our message. It breaks the rule of form following function and detracts from our purpose.

Horn's "Rhetorical Devices..." was a nice, very short, chapter. I'm going to photocopy it and post it somewhere so I'll finally remember that metonymy means "the name of one thing is used for that of another with which it is associated," (372).

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Page last modified on June 15, 2007, at 05:31 PM CST