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HUMANIZING TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION WITH METAPHOR

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Date Issued:
2009
Abstract/Description:
This thesis explores how metaphors can humanize a technical document and more effectively facilitate user comprehension. The frequent use of metaphor in technical communication reminds us that the discipline is highly creative and rhetorical. Theory demonstrates that a technical text involves interpretation and subjectivity during both its creation by the technical communicator and its application by the user. If employed carefully and skillfully, metaphor can be a powerful tool to ensure users' needs are met during this process. The primary goal of technical communication is to convey information to an audience as clearly and efficiently as possible. Because of the often complex nature of technical content, users are likely to feel alienated, overwhelmed, or simply uninterested if the information presented seems exceedingly unfamiliar or complicated. If users experience any of these reactions, they are inclined to abandon the document, automatically rendering it unsuccessful. I identify metaphor as a means to curtail such an occurrence. Using examples from a variety of technical communication genres, I illustrate how metaphors can humanize a technical document by establishing a strong link between the document and its users.
Title: HUMANIZING TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION WITH METAPHOR.
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Name(s): McClure, Ashley, Author
Jones, Dan, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis explores how metaphors can humanize a technical document and more effectively facilitate user comprehension. The frequent use of metaphor in technical communication reminds us that the discipline is highly creative and rhetorical. Theory demonstrates that a technical text involves interpretation and subjectivity during both its creation by the technical communicator and its application by the user. If employed carefully and skillfully, metaphor can be a powerful tool to ensure users' needs are met during this process. The primary goal of technical communication is to convey information to an audience as clearly and efficiently as possible. Because of the often complex nature of technical content, users are likely to feel alienated, overwhelmed, or simply uninterested if the information presented seems exceedingly unfamiliar or complicated. If users experience any of these reactions, they are inclined to abandon the document, automatically rendering it unsuccessful. I identify metaphor as a means to curtail such an occurrence. Using examples from a variety of technical communication genres, I illustrate how metaphors can humanize a technical document by establishing a strong link between the document and its users.
Identifier: CFE0002948 (IID), ucf:47979 (fedora)
Note(s): 2009-12-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): humanization
metaphor
technical communication
creative
creativity
humanize
technical texts
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002948
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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