July 2, 2011
Try this… Repeat a word over and over out loud until you can no longer be sure you are saying it correctly. Notice how, when isolated and repeated, the word seems formless and totally disassociated from any meaning.
With the exception of onomatopeia, the sounds of words do not resemble their meanings, nor do the shapes of letters resemble their sounds. Because they are not representational, words and letters signify by virtue of being distinct from one another. When repeating a letter over and over again, the homogenity of the sound renders the letter impotent. Unable to distinguish itself from one another, the sounds are nothing more than pure audible form, meaningless and redundant rather than specific.
While most words specify, “BLAH” is all things, anything, nothing. Like a Joker in a deck of cards, it takes the place of more “meaningful” words, garnering meaning from its surroundings or its physical appearance. In its conspicuous lack of substance, “BLAH” is the consumate formless word: a blank slate or, like all words and letters, a vessel for meaning without any meaning in and of itself.