Part 1: Noticing the Activity of Language

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 noticing the activity of language

2 noticing that language is not perception

3 the linguistic ritual of creating a victim (and a savior)

4 creating a path from hell to heaven


Noticing the Activity of Language

In the beginning, right now, this is the activity of language. Noticing the activity of language here, there is an obvious distinction between the operating of language, which can be labeled “active,” and the noticing itself, which can be labeled “inactive” or “receptive.”

Notice that the operating of language can begin and then end, yet then begin again. There can be a just a quick breath between words or even a long pause in conversation, right?

Science Saturday Celebrates International Year...

Science Saturday Celebrates International Year of Chemistry (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

So, we can call the activities of language temporary or fluctuating. One pattern of language begins, then may be replaced by another. We can talk about taking a long, deep breathe in, then stop talking about that and create a new conversation about drawing a picture or swimming in a lake or singing a song or drinking some water.

Each topic of conversation begins and then ends. Every pattern of linguistic activity is temporary, not continuous. In fact, the activity of language can simply stop.

Noticing is fundamental and continuous while language is just one kind of activity that can be noticed. Is that clear? We can label noticing as “constant” or “eternal” and label language as “temporary” or “intermittent.”

Does that make sense?


Introspection. (Photo credit: e³°°°)

Science Saturday Celebrates International Year...

Science Saturday Celebrates International Year of Chemistry (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Further, there are many different things that can be noticed about various patterns of linguistic activity. Notice the following letters not as a word, but just as a sequence of shapes visually perceived: O X Y G E N T L E M E N.

You may have found it automatic to recognize the sequence of shapes in terms of being letters that form could words. So, here is another sequence: N E M E L T N E G Y X O. Those are the same letters in the reverse sequence, but notice that this second sequence of letters may not trigger any automatic “word associations.”

The musk ox

a DRAWING of The musk ox (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, you may barely even notice the actual shapes of the letters. Rather than see the O as just a circle and the X as just an an intersection of lines, you may not even notice the shapes at all. You just automatically make the shapes in to letters and automatically make the letters in to words- or try.

However, this was not always automatic. An infant can notice the shape of a circle and draw a copy of that shape. An infant can then notice two crossing lines and copy that distinct shape. Those are just shapes to the infant, not letters, and certainly not the word “ox.”

Ox in Saharsa

a PHOTOGRAPH of an “Ox in Saharsa” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is no activity of language for the infant in copying shapes. There are no letters and no words. There is the noticing of sounds and sights (like the sight of various shapes), but there is no labeling of the different shapes. They are just distinct shapes. The shapes can be noticed without labeling them.


SOUND CARD (Photo credit: Cyberslayer)

There is noticing, but no noticing of the activity of language, right? So, the noticing itself is fundamental, while the noticing of language in particular is just one possible temporary form of the continuous, fundamental noticing.

Next, the shapes can be noticed and then interpreted as symbolic codes, with the O shape representing a different sound than the X shape. Together, the two shapes of O and X can be interpreted as the new symbolic unit: “ox.”

However, notice that “xo” is not the same as “ox.” The sequence of the symbolic shapes is important in the activity of language.

a tic tac toe game

a tic tac toe game (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, language is about the sequencing of symbolic codes. That is the activity of language: the sequencing of symbolic codes. Notice this now?

So, the sound of the letter O is not inherently symbolic. However, if I say “now do you notice that there is a difference between the sound of the letter O and the symbolic use of that sound,” then what if you make make the sound of “Oh!” (as in “oh yes, now I do notice it!”)?

That sound is symbolic because of how we use the sound. A ringing bell or vibrating tube can produce a very similar sound (like the letter “O” or similar to the word “Oh”). We do not even notice that a bell or tube sounds like the letter O because “it is just a sound” to us when we know that it is only a ringing bell or a vibrating tube.

It is not even perceived as “the sound of an O.” It is just the sound of a bell or a tube. We notice both sounds. We label one sound as the activity of language and the other sound as something other than the activity of language.

Next, in language, “ox” and “oxygen” are clearly very different uses of the O and the X. The specific sequence matters as well as the grouping of sequenced letters, like “ox y gen” is not the same as “oxygen.”

Introspection, Day 164 of 365

Introspection, Day 164 of 365 (Photo credit: DieselDemon)

Juliana Playing Tic-Tac-Toe

Juliana Playing Tic-Tac-Toe (Photo credit: camknows)

So, what is important about all of this? The individual examples are not important. They are just demonstrations to promote the noticing of certain specific patterns in language. The examples are just examples of different types of patterns of language.

Noticing is continuous. In contrast to language, noticing lasts. Noticing the various activities in language as well as the absence of linguistic activity, we can label noticing to be “lasting” or “continuous” or “constant” or “eternal.” Is that still clear?

So, this is another way of contrasting language itself from the noticing of language. Whenever there is the noticing of language, there is always noticing already. In other words, the continuous noticing is fundamental to the noticing of the various temporary patterns of language. Does this still make sense?

Tic Tac Toes..

Tic Tac Toes.. (Photo credit: BenSpark)

In other words, the actual sequences of language can be called “the created” and the noticing can be labeled “the author.” Patterns of language are not the author of language, right? Noticing is fundamental, right? The various patterns noticed are secondary, right? There is no noticing of language unless there is both the capacity to notice (which is fundamental and continuous) and the various objects of perception (which are all secondary and transitory).

Now, language is a modern word. The same idea can be labeled with an ancient term “Logos” or translated from an ancient form of language in to a modern form, such as “communication” or “The Word.” The next section (part 2) will get deeper in to that distinction.

The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, a...

The famous Greek word logos — “word, speech, argument, ratio, etc.” — as SVG image. I don’t know if someone still needs such graphics in the times of Unicode, but if you like to use it here it is … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Werner Erhard and Associates v. Christopher Co...

Werner Erhard and Associates v. Christopher Cox for Congress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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