Re: Reading and Editing--thinking in pictures
Actually, the assumption that thought is language-based is prevalent
throughout our entire educational system (some links below).
invent things, I do not use language.
<SNIP some more>
I finished a one-year program in Interactive Multimedia in May. My 47 classmates came from a wide variety of backgrounds -- graphic designers and artists, programmers, photographers, and a great many from completely unrelated fields like banking and the sciences. Oh, and one other technical writer.
I used to have run-ins regularly with the graphics-type folks and our graphics instructors, who kept telling me I was not "creative". Their reasoning? When they see a blank page, either on the screen or on paper, they want to fill it with images. When I see a blank page, I want to fill it with words.
Not creative? Humph. I write fiction as well as non-fiction. I play several musical instruments (with varying levels of competency, but I do play). I sing, and sight-read well. I knit and crochet, although I don't sew. I cook and bake. Et cetera, et cetera.
It got to the point that I warned the graphic designer on my team that if she told me one more time that I wasn't creative I'd rip her arms off. Made for some strained relations at times, but at least she stopped saying it to my face!
Here's the tie-in to technical writing: We're writers. Of course we tend to think in words. But there are an awful lot of ordinary people (not just those who are autistic) who think in images instead.
Gets back to the "know thy audience" mantra, doesn't it?
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