Deal Me Some New Ideas


The Salmon of Clubs

Imagine yourself sitting down to a game of poker and, while trying to fill an inside straight, learning how to recognize hostile aircraft or carve the Thanksgiving turkey. Decks of playing cards have been used for these and other informative purposes. (The card pictured is from the "how-to-carve food" deck.)
Dr. Ed Malone’s article, "The Use of Playing Cards to Communicate Technical and Scientific Information, has just been accepted for Technical Communication, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Society for Technical Communication. The article is scheduled for the February 2008 issue. In it Dr. Malone (Assistant Professor of English and Technical Communication) describes and analyzes several decks of playing cards that have been used to communicate technical and scientific information.
Decks from the 17th century include one with instructions on how to carve meat, fish, or fowl at the dinner table and one about mathematical instruments. From World War II, a deck of cards trained civilians to spot enemy aircraft. More recent uses include Iraqi most-wanted cards displaying fugitives.
Dr. Malone’s article will encourage readers to consider the implications of playing cards as a medium for technical and scientific information.