Thursday, January 28, 2010

Signs for thought

The relation to spoken language and and writing is not simple. Many things said in speech cannot be represented in writing, and vice-versa. So, what is the equivalent of an ironic inflection? A whisper? A seductive tone of voice? Writing has many properties derived from its graphic nature. What is the spoken equivalent of a hyphen? A decorative initial? A sans serif face? Or the divisions of text into two columns of a page?