June 29, 2022

The Content Curate

Today’s census news that in the UK (and apologies for the country-centricity here, but I can only only write from experience and the UK is where I’m based) there are more over-65’s than under-15’s now.

Which is interesting for people (like us) who need to use language (visual and verbal) to get our ideas across and I wondered whether ‘over here’ we’re likely to become a society ‘divided by a shared language’ – but divided not from other English-speaking countries, but right here, in this interesting island.

Ok, so I know it’s good shtick to mock the elderly whose lingua-franca doesn’t include the latest slang, but there’s a more fun to be had with the English and its wonderful (but probably bewildering) words that look the same but have entirely different meanings. A language ‘drawn’ between past and present weighings. Quite a nice analogy for our own demographics.

Which leads us to our sector’s love of language, and certain words with ‘fixed’ meanings that are widely different and the title of this thread – The Content Curate.

For a people of a certain age, to be content meant arriving at a state of peaceful happiness. Most likely now I suspect we (are included) are rather more just ‘content’. 
Likewise, the curate is (or was, in common parlance; outside of the museum trade anyway) the vicar’s assistant i.e. the lowest ranking member of the clergy. A ‘layperson’. Someone without specific or specialist skills or knowledge (hence the term ‘layperson’s view’.) We now use the term to refer to the curate as the go-to, in charge of making the selection. The ‘curate’ is now the expert. The specialist. The one those in charge defer too.

I guess the point I’m trying to get to is that to reach your audience you need to get the language right. And that means appreciating that, ehrm, ‘older’ audiences appreciate some words have more than many meanings. Which has to be a content curate’s golden creative opportunity.

The image is from the sketches of the forever excellent Olle Eksell, Swedish graphic designer and poster artist.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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