A Movable Text: faux reading, reading foe or the integration of text and image!

In early 2008 I decided to reexamine what I know of reading by writing in my Eduspaces blog. Eduspaces was the first social community I was a part of, and its influence continues with me today as many of the people I encountered there, I still follow and/or friend.

I had been noticing the use of text in tv commercials and I included that new use when I set out my three categories of how we read text:

Lyric reading, like singing, entangles the whole person in its meaning. Useful reading is informational  and a requirement for specific tasks and accomplishments. Faux reading is the recognition of words used in an isolated and semantically meaningless way as indicators or symbols, seen in ads, commercials, some art, and traffic signs. All require word-recognition, useful and lyric reading require knowing how to decode the text,

I wouldn’t call it “faux reading” currently, nor would I see it as an enemy of other kinds of reading. Now I see it as the “integration of rhetoric, image and vision” (Fleckenstein, p. 7) and I see it frequently on tv. Here’s an example from last fall’s American election:

It’s a powerful use of text as image, where you have to be able to recognize the words, but the meaning comes only partially from the text and is highly augmented by the movement and size of the words and numbers. I think of it as text/image.

I think it’s being used increasingly; do you? And what effect do you think it has on the readers/watchers?


Fleckenstein, Kristie S., Sue Hum, and Linda T. Calendrillo, eds. Ways of Seeing, Ways of Speaking. West Lafayette, Indiana: Parlor, 2007. Print. Visual Rhetoric.
Vinall-Cox, Joan. Weblog post. EduSpaces: Joan Vinall-Cox. EduSpaces.net, 10 Jan. 2008. Web. 13 Aug. 2009. <http://eduspaces.net/vinall/weblog/245431.html>.



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