E: Wow yeah that is definitely one way to end an entry. I think it may be important at this point to distinguish between the alphabet and letterforms that we attribute as having meaning and the actual representation of these forms themselves. The former deals with the thinness of language and societal connection whereas the latter deals with the representation/realization of the former. I think.
In typography, each font that is made is an attempt to make real some position on how letterforms should exist. Maybe it is an existential realization? In fact it probably is. But it is a much more personal one. This discussion makes me think of Max Bill’s Continuity and Change essay which continues to influence my way of thinking and practice to this day. He argues that gestalt and design is the constant testing of forms in order to achieve some idealized form. Whether or not this true form exists may not even matter; what matters is this constant designing and redesigning of the same thing (he uses the spoon as an example, which as it turns out, is the origin story of my love for spoons). Fonts are just a way to design language – a visual way at that.
I’ve been reading Angie Keefer’s piece Why Bother and it has gotten me thinking more about language and rules. Another really interesting piece on language I read recently was Borges’ Library of Babel. I don’t necessarily want to say more now, but I think often about how letterforms exist the way they do because we decided as a whole that they should. And even then, there is always potential for redefinition. Imagine a piece that interpolates between two languages – starting in one, and ending (through a series of redefinitions of words or constructs) in another. Perhaps now, I am conflating letterforms and words..