When we were in pre-k we were taught the alphabet. We were too young to think about why we had to learn and sound out 26 letters repetitively. Now after reading Kress, he states that “words are empty with meaning”(1). Think about it for a second. Words are just a combination of the letters we were taught when were little. According to Kress, the reason we understand what a particular word mean is because it is “filled with meaning” due to our imagination.
It’s kind of like learning a new language. I’m sure most us had to learn some sort of second language at one point. You would walk into class not understanding what was being written on the white board. Eventually you would come to write essays in this new language. So where did we have to start? Usually it’s with the alphabet and from there the vowels or any symbols that language has. Then we continue with nouns, verbs, and then adjectives. The process of learning a language and all its rules is a long and arduous. In the end we come to acknowledge this new language and we put meaning to the once unfamiliar words on the white board. I didn’t like Spanish that much.
It kind of interesting to think about words as a bunch of symbols combined rather than a word by the way we define it. How hard would it be to create a new language? Pretty hard I suppose. You would probably have to start with alphabet and assign sounds to each symbol, but if you can do it, then that’s just one more language to add on to your resume.