Monday, February 11, 2008

First of all I stole the "wtf" from Travis's post (sorry Travis) for lack of creativity. Now that I got that off my chest, I thought I would reflect on an idea that came up in class last Wednesday. Multi-modality. Wednesday was not the first time I've heard this word; in fact I heard it at our WC meeting and in my English 213 class last semester. Basically the world of literature is changing in new, exciting (not to mention incredibly confusing), ways.

We read some multi-modal lit in my 213 class, and the general opinion was that it can be good depending on the context of the story/poem being portrayed. For example, we read a short story presented as a hypertext called, "Charmin' Cleary." The story is about a coach/teacher accused of molesting a teenage girl who in return sacks the teacher. The story is told however, in a very nonlinear fashion. The navigation of the story appears totally random, and there is no way of telling when you as a reader have reached the end. While this is frustrating in many cases, it works for this story because it makes the story mirror the gossip by which it is told.

My original point in bringing up multi-modality (and I promise I had one) was that it can be hard to present to an audience. People sometimes resist change and are not willing to trade in turning pages for clicking a hyperlink. In addition, as the grammar snob points out, our language with this new technology is changing as well. How do we as writers decide when (if ever) it is ok to use "text speak" in our papers? It will cause some audience members to be more engaged in our stories, however some will always reject it (I know I would probably crap twice and die if I saw a student write "lmao" in a research paper"). Either way, change is coming; the grammar snob says so. Embrace it or deny it, but it's happening with or without you.

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