In my thesaurus/index class, my team is constructing a Tea Thesaurus. It's a classified structure of terms meant to assist in the retrieval of tea-related resources. As we discussed our hierarchy, though, we ran into a problem. The professor stopped us and said, "First, we need to answer this question: what is tea? Is it the tea bag and tea leaves? Or is it the resulting beverage? Or is it the plant from which all of those are produced?"
What is tea...
Yesterday, as I dipped my tea bag up and down in the mug of hot water, the question came to mind. Ah, I will never be able to have another moment of peace drinking tea again! :p
I was doing a Worldcat search for mail ships today (the ones that ran back in the 19th century and into the 20th century as RMS liners). As it turns out, the preferred term in the index is "packets" (from 'packet ships'). So I did a search for all resources at McKeldin library on the subject of "packets." Half of what I retrieved were documents about networking, TCP/IP, and other such techy material. These are not packet ships of the 19th century?! What awful cataloging! Half of my retrievals are false drops! Disambiguate your homonyms!
I grew very angry and wanted to write the catalogers and demand these records be fixed. I also felt the urge to find out what the preferred term for "network packets" was...but I was in too much of a hurry to get to the library and class.
Ahh, librarianship is fun! :)