The readings today dealt with how meaning is derived from words and image. Visual rhetoric is really about conveying a final message. However, authors in today's readings and particularly Richardson, noted that sometimes grammar and syntax are focused on too heavily at the expense of this final message. Richardson's comments reminded me of students I have tutored that try so hard to write "academically" because doing so is foreign to them, that the message they are trying to convey gets lost in a disjointed body of words. "As a consequence of the way I learned about writing, whenever I wrote I always got distracted by the details of grammar and syntax. I would write a sentence, read it and then start thinking about whether it was proper- or even worse - about how ambiguous its meaning was. I would also think about how the sentence related to the sentence that I wrote before it and to the next sentence I was going to have to write after it. Paragraphs provoked even bigger concerns, so that by the end of a few pages I was either confused about what I was trying to communicate or convinced that I had failed to communicate it clearly," (423).
I thought the two descriptions for a technical designer included seemed fairly similar which may be due to the fact that communications people would be taught specific ways to request something and format notices. Also, being a tech writer sounded like a fairly nice job.
Mark Wolf's work in chapter 28 was a great description of how technology is being used to do things, such as test cars and study the human body, more efficiently (without crashing a car or using a cadaver). I'm still curious if these ways of testing are as effective, but if they are not now, the benefit of technology is that they soon will be.
Richard Lanham's reading on how visual rhetoric will end the book culture was really nothing new, but I usually enjoy his work. Being as my undergraduate and early work years all involved media use, they were always impressing on us how important it was to be adaptable to technological change. I'm not always really adept at learning technology, but I always want to and I always hope other people will know and enjoy it so, the ties Lanham warns of our culture being too tied to, of our society being too concrete and paper-based, are already frayed for me.