One of my favorite quotes in the movie The Princess Bride is Inigo Montoya’s response to Fezzini’s use of the word “Inconceivable!”
Inigo: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
I often feel like Inigo when I’m listening to people talk about digital media. We don’t seem to have the language to talk about chunks of content from traditional sources in a different format.
When it comes to new forms of content (blog, post, tweet, comment, even eBook), communication is relatively clear.
But when we hear the traditional print terms (book, chapter, journal, article, document, etc.), we can never be sure that everyone in the room is saying the same thing.
The only way to be sure is to ask questions and dig a little deeper.
Why is this important?
If the traditional content is to be unlocked from its print format, to evolve, the concepts it represents, and the language used to express those concepts, must evolve as well.
Otherwise, we run the risk of not only constraining our content by its current form but also by the language we use to describe it.