We should, however, assess such indulgences with a pretty rigorous criterion of whether they contribute to communicating the greater message. (I’m looking at you, preachers who include irrelevant shaggy dog stories in your sermons.)Yet, AKMA is not primarily writing about writing, or about speaking, rather the focus of his post is the use, in writing, of images. With this focus, I find myself less agreeable to the direction of AKMA's advice:
If what you write, or if the images you use for graphical communication, do not contribute to expressing clearly and precisely the message you’re hoping to convey — then don’t confuse and distract your readers with pointless, vague, superfluities.What he says is true, but a partial truth. And partial truth is more dangerous, or in this case more stifling than arrant fiction. Certainly, images should not be added willy nilly, nor be pointless or superfluous. And yet the tenor of the advice is to resist strenuously the visual equivalent of a digression, to focus on images whose communication coordinates closely with the words'. How much depth and richness is lost when this advice is followed!
This Ishmael was (I believe) Technical Assistant in the Journalism Dept at Technikon PretoriaI suspect there is a personality difference here, Barbara (and some of my colleagues) like (I suspect AKMA) prefer more ordered and orderly communication. They may be infuriated by my Ishmaelite style, but others (like me) delight in such invitations to imaginative play.
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