humanization, metaphor, technical communication, creative, creativity, humanize, technical texts
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.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
McClure, Ashley, "Humanizing Technical Communication With Metaphor" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4076.