The modern version of hieroglyphics: what documents look like when they have been scrambled by file-transfer, for example, when email attachments open up as a chaos of hypertext markup, webdings, and other bits of symbolic junk. What code looks like to technophobes. Can be used to refer to nonsense more generally speaking. A useful claim for excusing your failure to attend to tasks. -- Urban Dictionary ( hyperglyphics, def.)

This popcult neologism suggests that technology has powerful effects on written text - that we have this text (a document, say) and when we upload it into a digitized environment, it is overwritten and rewritten with the code necessary to digitize it. Usually this process takes place smoothly and the file is transferred successfully - intact and looking the way it did when it was composed, all WYSIWIGed out and clear as a bell. However, sometimes the file transfer process goes awry - incompatible software somewhere along the line is usually the culprit - and the result is this gobbledegook that is meaningless to most people.

The idea that the message most people can understand gets lost, changed, or damaged in the digital transfer is interesting to me because that is what I deal with every day in studying and teaching digital writing. The medium messes with the message and sometimes undermines even our best efforts to effect a smooth transfer of ideas to [Web] page and reader. Writing for the digital age requires us to become familiar with the trappings and traps of the medium so that we can successfully transmit our ideas. This is what digital rhetoric is all about to me - an awareness of the way digital media affect language and our use of it to inform, enlighten, entertain, and persuade.

Code Junk

Hyperglyphic Study #1, Davis

Code Junk 2

Hyperglyphic Study #2, Davis