Shawn Blanc takes the often-used word “consuming” to task:
And I think that is fair. I know in my real-life usage I “consume” on the iPad far more than I “create” on it. But I long for a better way to describe that. A description that is more in line with what it actually means. The term “consuming” brings with it the idea of haste and need, something I don’t wish to imply when what I’m actually doing is enjoying a well-written article while drinking a fresh cup of coffee.
Blanc’s entire piece is essentially focused on the definition of the word “consume” and what is actually means vs. how it’s used in relation to the iPad. My opinion is that people use the phrase “consuming content” instead of saying “reading RSS, twitter, reading e-mails, Facebook, videos and web browsing” because it’s shorter and more succinct.
The idea that the true dictionary definition of “consume” is somewhat irrelevant to me. Words take on new meanings as society evolves. The “ironic” is so misused now that the definition probably should be changed to reflect how people use it1. The word “gay” used to be a synonym for “happy”, now it’s almost strictly used to describe someone that is a homosexual. The words “virus” and “mouse” are almost always associated with computers these days.
Once a word is commonly used another way, doesn’t it’s meaning change?
- This is not an original though, I heard this on a podcast, Weekend Confirmed I think [↩]