What is it about?
Can one only argue or persuade with the use of language? We claim that there are certain visual "formats" that fulfill this role, too. Traffic signs constitute such a format. Thanks to their coded form and colors, traffic signs warn, prohibit, instruct, or inform. Because of this, one can use the format (" genre") of a traffic sign for humorous purposes, but also to persuade people of the need to change their mind about something.
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash
Why is it important?
In a world in which non-verbal (specifically: visual) communication is constantly becoming both more ubiquitous and more sophisticated, it is important to understand how visuals, on their own or in combination with language, can function to (help) make a specific point, or even to make an argument.
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This page is a summary of: The affordances and constraints of situation and genre, International Review of Pragmatics, January 2018, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18773109-01002002.
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