Texts: Privileging the word

Text Menu

Text anchors bring certain words from the episode to the forefront with anchoral emphasis and can bridge origin and destination texts either connotatively or denotatively.

Accessibility and meaning

As words usually have a more precise meaning than graphics, text anchors can bring out various types of meaning. However, the word anchors must be long enough to make sense--just as a graphic anchor should encompass enough of the graphic to allow the reader to interpet why that graphic or that word was chosen as an anchor. Bobby, a web accessibility software tool, requires web developers to "create link phrases that make sense when read out of context." [72] to ensure that pages are accessible to disabled readers.


Embedded textual anchors draw the reader's attention to the word rather than to the sentence, and highlight the context of the anchor. This can create:


Menu choice text links can also indicate a section of the work or a theme, but as these are separate from the acteme of reading the text, they do not influence the reader's interpretation of the text to the same degree that embedded text anchors do.

Penetration's [30] text links are connotative and describe thematic connections, but as they are separated from the text, the reader does not make the immediate connection. Penetration, like True North [62] and The Ballad of Sand and Harry Soot [61], highlights text with colors but unlike these works, none of the colored text is anchoral. Readers must interact with menu anchor clusters at the bottom of the screen than with the highlighted word.

Screenshot used by permission.
Yet the connections between await, seed, and homeland with the text are on an overview level, referring to the entire acteme rather than to the sentence. If "story" were an anchor link, we would not see the closer connection with swollen and leaky than with arid and rocky. As "seed" is a text menu anchor, it connects with all of the images the text raises.


Text is not relegated merely to words, but can be decorated to incorporate color and highlights and animation:


While icons and often graphic anchors remain consistent through a work, text anchors usually change to indicate semiotic interpretations. One notable exception is Joe's Heartbeat in Budapest [49], which uses the same text interface throughout the work, limiting the reader's interactive vocabulary and frustrating conversation and closure.