Integrating content and style in documents
A case study of patient information leaflets
We envisage a novel computer tool for producing technical documentation, in which the author specifies the desired content and style, but the exact wording and layout is determined by the system (including versions in languages the author need not know); a prototype of such a system is being developed in the ICONOCLAST project. Among other things, the system must adapt the wording of the generated document to its punctuation and layout. By studying a corpus of patient information leaflets, we have found many detailed examples of this interaction, some of which are described here. In particular, we focus on ways in which the use of special layout patterns (e.g., vertical lists, boxes) changes the options for wording, sometimes licensing departures from normal conventions of grammar and punctuation.
Published online: 21 January 2011