Note — Oct 10, 2021

The Four Dirty C-Words of the Internet

Seen in → No.191

Source →

Paul Jun tackling something I mention all the time, the washing out, the stretching of meaning, and the outright appropriation of words. In this case, the four horsemen of content, culture, community, and creator. Jun knows better than to try and fight the heavy current of how these words are being used, but he does make a good case for slowing down, thinking, and “working around this language [to] make your ideas stronger and give them a fighting chance to resonate in the world.”

When you can’t use the empty c-words, you’ll generate real language to make your ideas specific and clear. When you can avoid calling your work “content,” you give yourself a fighting chance to build something significant. […]

Lazy language is a sign that you don’t really know what you’re making or who you’re making it for. It means you really don’t have a point of view (yet! That’s okay —you can develop one). But the moment you succumb to using all of the c-words, slow down. […]

[I]n specific contexts, it’s helpful to double-down on clear language. It’s where you can gain leverage by enrolling others into exciting possibilities for what the work can become. It shows your attentiveness to language, the lifeblood of any endeavor.