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Rhetorical Theroy

In: Historical Events

Submitted By sonusinha
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Porter’s article suggests a reinvention of the rhetorical canon of delivery for the digital age. Porter provides the reader with a brief history of delivery’s place in “traditional rhetoric” and argues for delivery as a form of techne. Porter then proposes a five part theoretical framework for “digital delivery,” consisting of “Body/Identity,” “Distribution/Circulation,” “Access/Accessability,” “Interaction/Interactivity,” and “Economics.”

I really like how Porter explains delivery that has evolved with the technology in the modern day. He explains that the gestures you make, your tone of voice, using pauses with your speech and perhaps a restrained tone will all help to convey your meaning and are all things that you don't usually see or hear online. I related to this a lot because as I am freelance visual designer, I have to present a lot to the client and marketing team, using hand gestures, body language helps me to convey the message to the clients more efficiently.

He further suggests that in the new era (digital age), however, delivery is about the medium through which the message is given. There are so many different forms of writing online today. For example if we take Twitter, this is the most recent form of writing which lot of people are still getting used to it. Twitter uses a lot of hash tags and ampersand symbols, which never would have appeared before in writing, but is rhetorically correct for Twitter because they link to other information, allowing for a large collaboration of ideas.

But on the other hand, Porter also suggests that overuse of techne has it’s disadvantages as it’s becoming more of a mechanical procedure than an art. He applies it to digital writing, saying that knowing how to use CSS does not make you able to be a web author, because you only know part of coding, not all of the basic components or an understanding of said components. I was able to relate to this specifically because I've taken web design and know that no matter how well you can use CSS, if you don't know HTML, it's not going to matter much. Porter also says that web design is becoming a degraded form of rhetorics as the reduction of the art to routinized procedures. I think that in many tutorials and manuals, there needs to be routinized procedures to help people learn. They should teach the basic skill set, such as a line of code, and teach you what you can do with the code, but leave it up to the coder how to use and implement a combination of code. That makes knowledge more important than procedural coding.

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