The Literary Style of Alt-Text

The meditative art of describing images in words

Clive Thompson

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A group of alphabetic dice spelling out the words “ALT TEXT”. They are on a white surface and surrounded on all sides by perhaps two dozen similar dice that have random letters that spell nothing. Each die has a small hole going through the center; they’re the type of dice you see used to make bracelets that spell out messages

See that image above? When I posted it, I wrote some alt-text for it — i.e. a description of what’s in the image.

Here’s what I wrote:

A group of alphabetic dice spelling out the words “ALT TEXT”. They are on a white surface and surrounded on all sides by perhaps two dozen…

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Clive Thompson

I write 2X a week on tech, science, culture — and how those collide. Writer at NYT mag/Wired; author, “Coders”. @clive@saturation.social clive@clivethompson.net