They’re Everywhere!

As I went through my week I realized that I saw multimodal texts everywhere that I went. From the moment that I woke up to the moment that I went to bed I interacted with a variety of multimodal texts, the majority of which were ones that I wouldn’t have considered texts before this assignment. In the morning, I woke up and looked around my room. I observed my surroundings more than usual and I realized that all five modes (spatial, gestural, visual, aural, and linguistic) were present. That same morning, I went to an organic chemistry lecture which also included all five modes, but the most interesting part was that the modes were presented in a completely different way. In my room, the calendar and paintings with cliché sayings represent the linguistic mode while the headings the professor wrote on the board were the linguistic aspect of the classroom. Similarly, the spatial mode was shown in how the furniture and paintings ware arranged in my room while the professor’s note format contributed to the spatial mode in the classroom. In my room I hear various sounds (the shower running, my candle burning, my roommates talking) while in the lecture the primary sound comes from other students and the professor. Lastly, the classroom’s gestural mode comes primarily from the teacher moving around to write on the board and the students writing notes while the gestural mode in my room is me (doing laundry, making the bed, snoozing my alarm clock 382 times).

Later in the week I realized that my FaceTime call with a friend from home was multimodal and so were the flowers, bear, and accompanying message that I received from my boyfriend earlier in the week. Through this observational study I recognized that multimodal texts come in very different forms. Some are publications and some are things that we come in contact with everyday and often what makes them multimodal is completely different. This is where the rhetorical situation comes to play. It is the differing rhetorical situations that make the texts different, but it is also what makes it possible for us to see multimodal texts in so may different forms.

All of the multimodal texts that I observed were current and not published pieces, but I believe this to be because I was looking for more “out-of-the-box” texts than traditional ones. Although the texts differed in time period, rhetorical situation, and in the way that they were presented, they all shared one area of common ground: I was their audience. This observation presented an interesting point as to how they were all different. I realized that while modes could potentially have very similar rhetorical situations, a very different text results. Whether it be a football game or an email, the five modes are everywhere!

2 thoughts to “They’re Everywhere!”

  1. Hi Syndi! I agree with you when you say the five modes are everywhere. When you start to keep an eye out for them, you start to realize that so much of the communication we see and encounter comes in multiple modes. For instance, when I was watching a video in class I noticed that the dialogue was linguistic. The gestures used to magnify the dialogue were gestural though. It is interesting how different modes work together to enhance dialogue. I think your point about how you, the audience, were the commonality among the texts. I had not thought about that commonality when I was analyzing the texts I collected.

  2. Hey Syndi. Definitely, the five modes are in the smaller things, down to the level of the alarm clock and minute details of daily life. Even the FaceTime call is a form of communication that we pretty much don’t know how to do without now, and this introduces a bunch of creative takes on the audio, linguistic, and gestural modes possible. Your take on searching for these five modes down to this micro-level is really interesting, and something I’ll be sure to do as this class progresses, and in the future as well. Thanks for your post!

Leave a Reply