plurivocal

Traditional forms of writing have tended to emphasise a consistency of tone and writing style that is a product of print technology. At its heart, there is a certain protestant suspicion of textuality in our development of black print on white paper arranged in highly regular patterns across consecutive pages.

This singularity of writing style or voice is the exception, rather than the rule, of our communicative competencies. In any given day I speak as father, son, husband, teacher and student, to name a few, and each requires, often literally, a different voice and style.

Hypertext writing, through all of its formal properties, is able to utilise and incorporate these different voices, these different ways of writing. Hypertext theory seeks to validate the inclusion of these diverse tones (or tongues) so that the document becomes not only a palimpsest of what has gone before or into the writing but becomes a plural arena of all those writings that are implicit but excluded in all writing.