Sunday, March 7, 2010

We talked about things like how words and lack of words makes a difference in the writing and how rhetoric ultimately determines the validity of a piece of writing (this is apparent because even in the most confusing matter of delivery, As I lay dying still received much acclaim, or maybe it was that space). Anyhow, rhetoric serves purpose so we were asked to write the word that we feel that serves the most rhetoric purpose. I (being some loser) chose the word “I” (I would qualify this choice later in the journal entry).
The theory behind rhetoric was explored in-depth by a guy named Jacques Derrida. Now I am not an expert on the philosophy of Derrida, but I do know its basic message (and he also has a lot to say about almost everything but I will concentrate on his spiel on Rhetoric and words). Derrida believes that there is no objective truth in this word and that everything is somehow shaped and formed by how we imagine things (that’s called phenomenology). Similarly, Derrida believes that words are also subjected to be molded by “the phenomenon” (individualized). Derrida dissects words into two pieces in which he call the “signifier” and the “signified” (signifier is what is seen or told and signified is what is perceived and understood). For example, the word (and I do not agree with hetronormative assumptions) the word “gay”. Back in the old days this word’s signified (or what it is perceived to mean) is happy and joyful; now, we all know that that signified has changed. This is an example of how the signified has changed because of manipulations of how the words are used (signifier). Therefore, Derrida indicates that the only way to truly find individual interpretation of a certain signified is to remove completely the signifier so that connotations could not dirty the interpretation. This action of leaving something blank and opened for interpretation is called “erasure” (which is later manipulated into being called “the real” by some idiot), which is very prevalent in Derrida’s writing about language.
Now you wonder why I chose the word “I” for my most significant word. Well the reason is that I believe the word “I” is so simple and easy that many people do not put any connotations to it. This makes it an “open space for interpretation” which is always really cool. The word “I” also is used to express individuality, it’s perhaps the only word that is used to designate individual uniqueness (“I have a dream” “I won the champion” “I am great”). Also the word “I” has a lot of philosophical significance which is always an interesting characteristics (perhaps apart from this word only a few other normal words are very critically examined). Also another reason is that the word “I” is just one letter so it is by far the easiest to write in bubble letters (obviously that factors into some of my decision to use this word)

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