Writing to the World Wide Web
January 27th Recap:
Language Use and the Web

As we've talked about so far, the effectiveness of any website depends on how well the webwriters and designers match the information the site conveys with the values of the audience(s) that they're trying to reach. The way they convey these values is reflected in language use, graphics, and hypertext and interface cues and conventions. We begin by examining language use. Language conventions refer to words and phrases, grammatical constructions that convey a specific voice or character. For example,

When reading anything on the Web (or in print too, for that matter) pay attention to what it is about the writing style that appeals to you. For example, we looked at the CarTalk website the other day. Think of the use of rhetorical questions, of words that convey humor, of phrases that require a specific understanding or cultural immersion. All are meant to convey a casual, entertaining voice that matches the tone of the CarTalk radio show.
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