From A to <A> [cover]

From A to <A>: Keywords of Markup.

Ed. Bradley Dilger and Jeff Rice. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

246 pp., 978-0-8166-6609-6.


Bradley Dilger and Jeff Rice’s edited collection From A to <A>: Keywords of Markup (University of Minnesota, 2010) introduces its essays by arguing, “Markup is the first thing Web writers engage.... In the age of new media, there is no way to avoid markup. Markup is text. Markup is communication. Markup is writing” (xi). Markup—the codes and tags that make it possible for information on the internet to be organized, formatted, delivered, and even produced—is often invisible to the internet user, save in instances when it calls attention to itself through its absence or failure to mediate one’s browsing experience according to expectation. However, as Dilger and Rice note, the conversation about markup is a process that has been ongoing since the earliest days of the Web: users continue to discuss how to consolidate best practices in coding and accessibility, how to think about issues of intellectual property, as well as ways of achieving consistent displays across a range of browsers and platforms. Dilger and Rice’s collection, which recently won Computer and Composition’s 2010 Distinguished Book Award, uses a keyword approach in its examination of several different markup tags in order to develop a vocabulary for discussing Web-based rhetorical and composing practices and to connect these practices to cultural and ideological environments.