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Of document databases, SGML, and rhetorical neutrality

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New technology has enabled the audience to shape a writer's message. Today, publishing technical information often consists of letting the receivers search the files, extract what they judge relevant, sequence and organize it any way they wish, and even print or display it to their own specifications. Often, the writer is not creating deliberately worded and presented messages but rather, feeding molecular articles to rhetorically neutral databases, from which readers may extract what they wish. Such technologies as SGML even further limit writers and deprive them of such basic presentation devices as deciding where pages will begin and end. The rhetorical implications of technology that empowers readers and enfeebles writers are reviewed

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 2 )