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Textual Semiotic and the Word as Image

I run another blog called Urban Semiotic and over there we look at issues rotting the urban core.

This WordPunk blog concerns writing about words in the wilds. 

We are textual. 

We are not the image.

Is it possible for text to be semiotic?

WordPunk Logo Single Line

Or is the word always text — even as an image?

Own Your Words

When I was growing up in Nebraska, my family was famous for always telling its young, “Never write something you don’t want read out loud to the rest of the world.”

That sort of advice, bundled in a warning, and wrapped in a grin and punctuated by a pointing finger, was daunting for a group of nine-year-old cousins to comprehend as we scrawled our names in crayon on a Big Chief pencil tablet. 

Continue reading → Own Your Words

Learning How to Cuss

When I was seven or eight I learned my first cuss word. I grew up in a home where alcohol and smoking and “potty-mouthing” were not allowed until my mother married a second time and her new husband brought two sons into our home.

Continue reading → Learning How to Cuss

Wording the Visible & Invisible

by María L. Trigos-Gilbert

You are reading this article because you are hungry. You are hungry for words. Reading this isn’t mandatory. That’s what separates good readers from “bad” readers, more likely bad attitudes toward the activity. Thus with the right disposition one enjoys to read, but without it one dreads it. Let’s begin with a basic question: What are words? Technically speaking one could say that words are isolated characters which put together with some other characters give us a specific symbol. This compound symbol has a meaning, at times universal and some other times personal.

For instance, the letter “L” is just one of the characters from our known and common alphabet which unified with some other letters gives us a word. For example, think of the word “love.” Love has many meanings like when one likes something, adores something or someone, or when one finds something extremely appealing. For instance, in the USA people sometimes say “I love pizza,” or “I love my husband.” In Spanish if someone says, “yo AMO a la pizza,” or “yo AMO comer pizza,” would be rather too strong. In Spanish the word love has a strong implication, and to say that one loves an object or a special meal would be as if this person is misusing the word, twisting its meaning. Of course, we could find a considerable number of people in the Spanish world using “to love” rather than “to like”. It depends how strong one wants to go about something or someone.

Continue reading → Wording the Visible & Invisible

Verbal Crimes

by María L. Trigos-Gilbert

When we think about a verbal crime, we reject the thought because indeed it doesn’t seem a bit realistic. It is as when you look at a person with eyes like bullets. If looks could kill, the world’s amount of people would be near to the number zero. Yet the question is still pending: What’s a verbal crime? It’s when one uses the wrong word to describe or to define someone or something. Of course, I’m not talking about those times when we forget the exact word that our mind searches. I’m talking about when we intentionally ill-use adjectives, nouns, and even verbs to approach any given subject, person, or situation.

Continue reading → Verbal Crimes