Design Exercise: Controlled Vocabulary

Find an example from digital media, legacy media, or the world at large of an information space which is overseen by an authority of some kind who dictates what things can and cannot be called through a controlled vocabulary. For example, libraries control what subjects books are listed under, local governments control the names of streets, and government and industry regulators control the use of consumer-directed descriptors such as “For Mature Audiences” or “All Natural.”  The growth of media aggregators for music, film, and television, and new media artifacts such as video games, is creating new opportunities for controlled vocabularies.

Pick a specific case in which a controlled vocabulary is not enough to avoid confusion (e.g. the many Atlanta streets with Peachtree in the name) and illustrate it with an image and a brief description indicating how it got that way, how people cope with it now,  and what might be done to amend it.

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