Lexi Yost. “Rhetoric in Digital Forms.” Dublin. Ireland, 2016
Digital forms are found everywhere in our daily environments, and Ireland was no exception. Billboards, brochures, brand logos, storefront ads, and building plaques just barely brush the surface of instances I saw every day in Dublin and Galway. But while visiting Dublin’s Archaeology Museum, I noticed how 3-D maps, artifact coding, and even the layout of certain objects could also be seen as digital forms. There’s this stigma of assuming that rhetoric involves written and oral words only. But, in this class, we’ve learned that rhetoric is made possible when an individual is able to persuade an audience while adapting to appeal to them and the context of the situation.
In the picture above, the tour group and myself were gathered in front of one of Loughcrew’s many centuries-old passage tombs. The conservation team that maintained the tombs and the grounds were proud to share the history of the monument. (They were also very happy to answer questions, which I took full advantage of after the tour). Using laminated models of the back of the tomb and the nearby “Hag’s Rock” stone, visual indications, and the Irish wit and humor, the team was able to share the monument’s story in a fun way. Walter J. Ong explains in his article regarding literature and its many diverse audiences,”Tradition and the Individual Talent,” that: “A history of the ways audiences have been called on to fictionalize themselves would be a correlative of the history of literacy genres and literary works, and indeed of culture itself” (Ong, 4). Every place, like the museum, tourist sites, or even the lesser-known tours such as the Loughcrew one, must consider their audiences before writing speeches, indication symbols and references to artifacts, and signs telling about bigger tourist sites.