“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.” 
-- Socrates
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Every ending is a new beginning.  It's the season of graduations, the end of the school year.  Transitions from one (academic) year to the next, one school to the next, one stage of life to the next. We've worked hard to get here this year and victories big and small abound.  

So this week I've been thinking a lot about semantics and the importance of using accurate words with specificity.  At least for some of us.  Especially when our anxiety has spun up out of control.  There is a difference between "done" and "passed." (We're golden).  Words can make a big difference though!  It's what I do all day, and I'm not the only person who gets particular about the words that should be used.  

A big part of my job is helping people determine the words they use for the metadata they describe their content with.  Sometimes it gets changed multiple times before everyone (begrudgingly) agrees that the word set will do.  It's the nature of the role though. It's sort of nice to see that people are so insistent that the right words are used, to be honest.  It always sort of surprises me given how lax and non-specific about language people often are.  

I don't always agree with them, and in fact, once I get some other stuff under "control" (lol!), I need to do a metadata audit and see how many terms have been used 0 or even just 3-4 times.  Over specificity in language is just as inappropriate as insufficient specificity.  It's kind of a Goldilocks thing -- it needs to be just the right level of specificity.  After all, "Words mean something."  Or if you prefer, “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” You can, but they lose any useful communication capablity...

So that's some of the stuff that I've been curiously considering this week.

With love & curiosity,

Copyright © 2017 The Mythic Librarian, All rights reserved.

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