September 30, 2012

Differance is A Sign

At first I thought difference with an “a” was a real word, but the more I read the more I realized that it was not. It intrigued me that Derrida called differance a “graphic difference (280)” because “it is written or read, but it is not heard (280)”. Could this mean that the meaning can be interpreted however the reader wants to?  If something is “inaudible” then it cannot “exist and operate (281)” as having a definite meaning. Word can be interpreted anyway, but this becomes an imperfection in language according to Locke because words cannot be communicated. Derrida’s main argument is that a sign is silent and words are a sign. Therefore, it cannot mean anything or say anything to communicate unless both people communicating understand it the same way.

Derrida made differance his own word to signify (like signs do) that “he has the desired advantage of referring to differing (279).” It seems to me that difference and differance can mean the same thing; the only difference is a letter. The difference in letters shows that words are just signs and signs can be interpreted in many ways. I understand what Derrida means when he says “difference is not, does not exist, and is not any sort of being-present (282). Since differance does not exist, it cannot be present and can never represent the truth. It cannot represent the truth because the word difference has “literal permutation (280) and this sets a specific meaning and specific meanings confuse signs. This would explain why he decided to change difference to differance. Difference describes the present, past, and future, while differance is only the present. It is only the present because the meaning is based on what comes to the readers mind at first, not what they know of the word because they do not know anything about it.

I am not sure I understand what I am trying to portray, but I feel that there is a similarities between Derrida and Locke. The interpretation of language, words, and meanings does intersect between the two articles. All in all, Derrida wanted to show and explain how words are signs.

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