I continually marvel at just how intrusive ‘luck following the prepared’ can be. I’m trying to work over here! Anyway, just in time to fortify my current research diet into Content Strategy, in Whaddya Call It?, Don DePalma makes valid arguments around the justification for a more focused approach to what we call things:
The question of correct and consistent terminology is one that should command the attention of a company across its product lines and within the industry where it operates. Simply stated, terminology management concerns the terms that represent the system of concepts of a particular company, industry, science, art, government, or even social entity like a family unit.
DePalma’s ideas are equally as valid as other less easily-digestible fare, and they reinforce many of the discussions I’ve been having internally around the need for a controlled vocabulary at my company. Certainly, any kind of technological innovation we implement for document and content management will rely on a search system that has the flexibility to translate disparate terms into valid searches across the board. But socialization of a controlled vocabulary would go a long way toward sparing us those conversations we overhear in the hallways that typically include on or about the 4-minute mark, “Yeah, yeah, same thing… Tomato, Tomahto…”