Over the past few years, I’ve been doing a lot of translations of texts for websites and I’ve had to deal with one particular Spanish company who provide ‘content’ for a number of clients.
I know that’s what they do, as their staff send out emails with the word “contenidos” in the signature.
The thing is, though, that the word contenido may be a noun or an adjective. It comes from the verb contener, which is really rather like retener, and I’m beginning to wonder whether these are subtle SOS messages telling me that they are actually being retenidos against their will.
I thought of this yesterday when I was writing an email to a publicity agency asking for photographs. I considered adding a line to my signature to increase my credibility – and thereby the chances of a quick and positive response – and the phrase that came to mind was, “content manager”.
In the end, though, I decided this would be a downright lie. I may manage a few things in my work, but I don’t think I’m prepared to put in writing that I am “content”.
(Which in turn reminds me of all those signs in British supermarkets on the deal-of-the-week product that claim, “The manager’s special”. Whether you agree that he is or not may depend on the definition of “special” that you are using.)