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The Use of Playing Cards to Communicate Technical and Scientific Information

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This article analyzes several decks of playing cards designed to communicate technical or scientific information ranging from military topics to the domestic arts to medical subjects. It places each deck in its historical context, describes the appearance and organization of the cards, and speculates about intended audience and purpose, drawing upon relevant secondary literature. It then extrapolates the conventions of this unusual genre. Finally, it argues that technical communicators can profit from this study because it raises questions and offers insights about such important topics as audience adaptation, organizational patterns, and ethical practices. Ultimately, this study may encourage reflection about these and other issues and perhaps lead to discovery and innovation.

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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