Monthly Archives: May 2014

Wrap Up

Since I enjoyed posting GIF’s at the end of all my posts this semester I thought it was best to sum up how I felt about the class in this way too…

Many of the readings I found very…

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and had to go back and reread them sometimes in order to try and fully understand what they were trying to say. Even so, I found most of them rather interesting and learned more about some English things I before knew little of (hello linguistics and technical communication!)

 

Sometimes even when I had re-read the reading I still didn’t understand what I was supposed to get from it and it made me feel a bit like grumpy cat..

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however class discussions ALWAYS helped me where my brain power was lacking. By seeing what you (professor) or my fellow students had to say about each reading really helped me understand things I missed when reading originally and made my blog posts better relate to the readings.

 

The blog I thought was an amazing platform for us to share our ideas or thoughts on the readings in the class. The only problem I had was staying caught up!

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I did tend to write down my thoughts on all the readings as I was reading them and then “planned” to later transcribe that to a blog post. Planned being the key word there for most of the time I would forget to move the info from my notebook to my virtual notebook! I think a big part of this was never having to use a platform like a blog in a class before and lord knows when it comes to school I am a create of habit. I wish I would of been more on top of writing on my blog cause I really did enjoy using it!

 

So I guess what I am trying to say is I ended up really liking this class! At first I was hesitant cause it seemed like a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong it was a lot of work, but it wasn’t the same old potatoes that all others teachers require (4 page 12 point Times New Roman) and that I really loved. It made things easier to want to finish instead of throwing together a crappy word document to turn in. Overall I liked almost everything about this class and feel like I know a heck of a lot more about certain pockets of English than I did before! thanks for a great semester!

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Technical Documents

I was watching the news the other day and the reporter was discussing a report that had been released by the Malaysian governement concerning their plane lost at sea. The next story was about the April jobs report released by our government talking about how unemployment had gone down since March. Then it hit me…

Boom!

 Technical documents are everywhere!! I had never realized how many times a technical document is discussed on the news. I even got a glimpse inside the April jobs report from the government and saw that sure enough it was a proper technical document. It had different font sizes, blocks of information, graphs, and a cover page with a proper table of contents. All the good stuff found in a pristine technical document. 

I don’t know why I was so surprised to discover that technical documents are important in our world, I had just never thought of a report that governments release in that light before!

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Misc…

Herndel, Fennell, and Miller’s article pointed out two very clear problems when it comes to failure in the social production of discourse.

1. Miscommunication 

 A very common problem when it comes to technical communication errors. When writing technical documents you must be sure you are using rhetoric that you audience will easily be able to read and comprehend. If you are using a more complex vocabulary or slang words, there is a great chance that you will miscommunicate something to your audience which could throw off the whole point of writing purpose.

2. Misunderstanding 

The second common problem with technical communication. When producing your document you must make sure everything is clear. Do not assume someone will know what you are talking about if you use something like an abbreviation. It is better to use proper language so nothing is misunderstood. This deals more with what your are actually talking about rather than how you are presenting it. Make sure your information is clear and easy for your audience to follow.

 

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Miller’s vocab

Miller’s article on technical opened me up to a whole new vocab of words I had not known before.

Techné – Is known in technical communications as the art of making something. It’s meaning is literally technique or production.

Phonesis – Is known as prudence or the virtue of good. With this you are concerned about what is right in your writing. Morally or ethically speaking.

Praxis – Is where theory meets actual practice in technical communication.

 

While Techné is the most important idea to take from this article. One that made me think the most was Phonesis. I did not realize until this article that ethics really played a part in technical writing. With this idea I especially like when Miller talked about understanding technical writing as a matter of conduct rather than a product. This idea she claims gives teachers new perspectives on phonesis and how they teach technical communication. Being concerned about what is right in your writing is not always something thought of when practicing techné, but according to Miller it should be.

 

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Learning Linguistics

The linguistics assignment was one I was rather excited about. I for one love live television and was excited to transcribe one of my favorite live programs I chose, Watch What Happens Live on Bravo. I knew it would be lots of listening, repeating recordings to hear words and pauses correctly, but I thought it would be interesting. From this assignment I learned a lot of respect for linguistics who do this for a living! It is not very difficult work just very tedious and time consuming! It also made me view one of my favorite shows in a new light!

Notsinger in the article we read talks about taking turns in conversations. He stresses the importance of conscious organization within our conversations. “The very nature of everyday conversation derives, in large part, from its turn-taking system.” This is an idea I had never thought of before. I’ve had uncountable numbers of conversations in my life yet had never thought of them as “organized.” They have to be organized in turn taking terms however for it to be considered a conversation. If it was one person talking to another person without responses or allocating a response, then it is simply not a conversation! When watching WWHL, I realized while I love the host Andy, he does not do a very good job with his organization of speaking turns. He tends to interrupt his guests, with short bursts of one word sentences like “yes” or “okay” or simply with understanding sounds like “um.” While mostly unnoticeable to regular viewers (like myself before this project) it is quite clear to one looking at the use of linguistics on the show. By messing up the organization of his conversations, he directly misdirects the flow of conversation and hurts it’s meaning or purpose.

here’s a nice picture I found of the show I transcribed, just to put a picture to the thought or description!

 

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