Continuation of word-verbum-logos-ereyga
How do we use language? We use it to express ourselves through speech, to record our experiences or to invent and tell stories in writing. But before all that begins, before a word leaves our lips or a pen hits the page, we use language in our heads. This code we share is more than a ‘simple naming process.’ It’s the means by which we form our thoughts and interpret the world around us. One of the first people to articulate this concept was a Swiss linguist named Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure wrote and taught in the late 1800s, and though he died in 1913, he remains one of our heroes here at Dictionary.com. Saussure understood that thinking about language was essentially thinking about thinking. He put language under his own theoretical microscope the way biologists study cells, looking at words as the building blocks of our thoughts. The foundation of his project is breaking down our idea of a word into its component parts: the concept and the sound-image. Let’s do an experiment.