You never realize how complex items are until you start to look for specific traits within them. I found multimodal things everywhere. It was hard to choose what to write about because everything today is such an intricate combination of words and images and spacing and font size and sounds. Cross-textually I found that it is hard to find modality void of linguistics. Furthermore, I found that recognizing the aural mode of pieces without music could be quite difficult as well. I noticed that recent texts incorporate many visual modes of linguistics, from photos to videos to drawings, etc. I believe this is due to the need to catch attention, and bright photos do this much better than words. The two texts which were most different from each other were the Michigan Hype Video and the NPR Article. The modes most used in the NPR article were linguistic and a small visual. Whereas the modes used most in the Hype Video were aural and visual.
The Michigan football hype video (https://youtu.be/dXh4GJhlbp0) uses all 5 modes of writing. The linguistic mode starts at the beginning through words being shown on the screen (not necessarily in text, many of the words were on benches or signs). There was also a range of narrators in the background at times from clips of old radio recordings of Michigan Football. The aural sounds were very dramatic and were akin to the music in a horror movie scene (becoming louder, faster, more intense etc) and added to the overall “hype” aura of the video. The spatial mode of arrangements of old football videos coupled with landmarks in Ann Arbor and current football footage made the viewer feel welcomed into an ongoing legacy. This was in addition to the visual mode of very intimate camera angles and eye level footage with key figures (Harbaugh, football players) that allowed the viewer to feel like part of the action. The gestural mode of the video can be described as strong and masculine. The facial expressions of all of the individuals in the video were aggressive and the body language was off-putting and angry, exactly what fans hope to see from the team. There was a lot of coordination between the modes, with the music starting quietly and the words being read slowly and players not as aggressive. Then towards the end there was a very intense spike in the music while players were shown tackling opponents and words were moving across the screen faster. All of these modes came together to excite the viewer for a new era of Michigan Football that they are a part of. The intimate camera angles and videos of key football figures from eye level made them look less like celebrities and more like home videos.
On the sign for the historic downtown, a lovely combination of visual modes is utilized. I loved that it showed the perspective of the reader and images that position the reader to a specific spot along the street years ago. When first looking at the poster the images stand out, with the words being more of a second thought. The word choice is casual yet informative, having an almost research-like tone. I really liked the look of this board all together, it was placed on the side of a building but it stood out due to the black and white images. The aural tone of the piece is relic and vintage.
The “Current” magazine stood out to me most visually and spatially. I was immediately drawn to the giant letters across the front that said “LET’S GO JIM” and the bright colors and vivid image of Harbaugh. The second thing that stood out was the spatial layout of the magazine, there was another spread within the book that you could pull out to find the “Blue Book” of top Ann Arbor businesses. The overlapping of words onto images looked almost similar to a scrapbook and felt like homely. The gestural mode of the people within the “Blue Book” is happy and relaxed. The word choice is really quite simple since its meant to be eye catching and relatable to students (cue Jim Harbaugh), but even the text looks like handwriting and is very bold. (Side note – While I was taking the photo of this magazine I was in an elevator eating cheez-its to go pet a kitten?). Here is the kitten..
The NPR article (http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/19/441494432/the-u-s-doesnt-have-enough-of-the-vegetables-were-supposed-to-eat) utilized many linguistic modes through longer paragraphs, research-directed writing and resources, and the development of the argument from the beginning to the end. However what caught my attention was the visual mode of the graph formed out of vegetables (that accurately represented proportions of consumed vegetables in the United States). I love vegetables so it immediately drew me in, and the layout of the article with large print and paragraphs in-line was easy to read. Although there was no physical noise or music, the emphasis of the article was on the ways we can encourage healthier eating habits, and many words were then linked to other news articles furthering specific topics. The spatial mode of the article (with the large vegetable pie chart at the top) and the writing underneath really worked well to draw me in, and after realizing the vegetables were arranged in a specific way, I referenced the image multiple times while finishing the article.