A good dictionary of a language comes close to offering a Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive (MECE) description of the vocabulary and meaning of words of that language. Thus a dictionary meets the MECE principle.

The implied benefits delivered by the dictionary are:

  • when looking for a word, we can be sure to find it; and
  • (because of the alphabetic order used) when we one needs to insert a word, there is a unique location for doing this.

Unhappily, when creating print books and articles and pdf documents authors usually don't have the MECE principle in mind. As a result it is fair to say that most of the content published doesn't meet that principle, and violates the MECE principle.

There are many situations in which such violation poses no problem. This is for original authored works, or when the quality of the content is beyond any discussion for the intended audience, and for a considerable period of time. This is for instance in schoolbooks for pupils learning basic skills, or in high quality peer reviewed articles for researchers, etc.

It is proposed that authors should consider both the MECE and information-centric principles when determining the medium for their content: digital or material tokens, and pdf document or a wiki page (for instance in a #tag2wiki collaborative).

The perspective is that n accordance with the #digicoop - Declaration of Digital Interdependence:

However, as the MECE principle is hardly considered in the production of content (in most languages and information systems) the MECE violations represent an important gap (at the international level of scope impacting the lifes of many people globally (Pico journey)).

The Principle/goal to plan pattern (Plan) and Driver goal gap pattern (Check & Plan) patterns indicate how society could (plan) coping with such a gap.