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Conversational Capital: How to Create Stuff People Love to Talk About by Sid Lee, Eric Alper, Tony Babinski, Bertrand Cesvet

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Chapter 14. Icons

The word icon has its origins in art history. Strictly speaking, an icon is the product of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church—a depiction, in oils, on a wooden surface, and of a religious subject (often of the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus). Actually the Greek word for morals, icon has since taken on a much wider meaning in current English usage. We now take it to mean something like a symbol, but larger and more powerful in meaning and significance.

To us, an icon is still tied to its origins in religious art: It’s a symbol or sign of something deeper, larger, and more complex. It has the power to distill a larger web of meaningful connections and associations into a single expression.

Icons are more complex than mere signs. ...

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