The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

What is text?





What is text? At the beginning of this course, text for me is the act of putting in a form of writing another form of communication. For example, text can be printed, inscribed or typed to communicate a message.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED) text is “The wording of anything written or printed; the structure formed by the words in their order; the very words, phrases, and sentences as written.”, literally that which is woven. Interestingly, there is an area in academic study called “text mining” and according to Hearst (2003) it involves computers discovering unknown text-based  information by extracting what is known and creating new connections to produce new knowledge. This led me to consider text as a system of creating such links, to slowly weave together ideas in society.

I selected this image to represent text to me as a form of expression that is open to new connections and evokes a sense of woven words. The image is based on the popular game Scrabble, where words are connected until the board is filled in an elaborate pattern of text. When I saw the image, I instantly read the words, searching for a meaning.

My name is Erin Gillespie and it is a pleasure to be in 540 with you. I teach grade four at an international primary school and I prefer texting to phone calls.  


Hearst, M. (2003). What is text mining? Available online 10, September, 2009, from

Ho, A. (unknown).  Aran Scrabble Layout.  Wikimedia Commons. Available online 10, September, 2009, from

Oxford English Dictionary Online. (2009).  Available online 10, September, 2009, from


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