Words. Poems. Recipes. Lyrics. Lines and circles. Scribbles of alphanumeric symbols. Organized clusters of pixels on a screen. Keyboard. Crosses and dots. Pictures on a cave wall. Books.
Text is a collection of symbols that represent thoughts, sounds and ideas. Text in its many forms is learned by many in order to communicate. At times text is meant to be cryptic and guarded to keep secrets. It is used to record data, history, song, and the collective knowledge of the human race. It flashes with brilliance in Vegas, inviting you in. It is emblazoned on signs attached to chain link fences to keep you out. It is a technology of woven words, given permanence when written, chiseled, inscribed, engraved, typed, etched or printed.
The forms and representations of text are myriad, yet the basis for its use and implementation across cultures and time is the same. Text records and relays meaning.
Photo by Chajm Guski, http://www.flickr.com/people/chajms/
Thank you for emphasizing the idea that text, at its heart, is essentially a series of symbols used to express meaning. We can easily forget that all text does not look like ours; that is that text does not have to contain roman characters to contain meaning. I love the interchange between some languages and their symbols. Due to the interoperability of their character-based alphabet, a Chinese person can read and understand the meaning of many written things in Japan, and vice versa, but wouldn’t generally be able to speak these words in each other’s language.