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Hypertext, schmypertext

As I began to read the Pemberton article in the St. Martin's Sourcebook, I couldn't help but wonder what all the fuss was about. As consultants, we deal every day with texts that are unfamiliar. A couple of weeks ago, I had a woman come in with a creative writing piece for her senior thesis. What I told her, and what I felt like telling Pemberton, was that while I've never written a short story, I sure read a lot. While writing consultants may not be trained in web design, we have all been using the internet for years and should therefore be able to help hypertext writers in the same way we help writers outside of our disciplines. I would, perhaps, feel more comfortable consulting on a piece of hypertext than I would on a lab report; I've certainly spent a lot more time navigating websites than reading or writing in the sciences.

Pemberton sort of makes this point in his article. While his conclusions are more exploratory than definitive, he appears most committed to the idea of including hypertext in tutor training. Again, though, if hypertext tutoring is not so far from tutoring across the disciplines, why do we need training in hypertext, but not in every other type of writing we may encounter?

Not the most coherent post. Oops.


I recieved similar pointless vibes from Pemberton and, for that reason, was glad for its brevity. Especially considering that Pemberton eventually does decide that hypertext is similar to any other unfamiliar texts we might see float through the center. This essay seems to give technology (which has already googled us to hell and gone) a little more credit than it deserves.