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The Discipline of Organizing: Core Concepts Edition, 3rd Edition by Robert J. Glushko

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4.2. An Overview of Resource Description

We describe resources so that we can refer to them, distinguish among them, search for them, manage access to them, and preserve them. Each purpose might require different resource descriptions. We use resource descriptions in every communication and conversation, and they are the enablers of organizing systems.

4.2.1. Naming {and, or, vs.} Describing

Chapter 3, “Resources in Organizing Systems discussed how to decide what things should be treated as resources and how names and identifiers distinguish one resource from another. Many names are literally resource descriptions, or once were. Among the most common surnames in English are descriptions of occupations (Smith, Miller, Taylor), descriptions of kinship relations (Johnson, Wilson, Anderson), and descriptions of appearance (Brown, White).

Similarly, many other kinds of resources have names that are property descriptions, including buildings (Pentagon, White House), geographical locations (North America, Red Sea), and cities (Grand Forks, Baton Rouge).

In many cultures throughout the world, it has been very common for one spouse or the other to take on a name that describes their marital relationship. Historically, in many parts of the English-speaking world, married women have often referred to themselves using their husband’s name; when Jane Smith married John Brown, her name became Jane Brown or Mrs. John Brown.

Every resource can be given a name or identifier. Identifiers are especially ...

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