a trap door in the sand

I like how language is a very basic kind of set theory. Whenever a word is said or heard, read or written, a circle is drawn in our consciousness. A word is a circle that knows what is inside it-and everything else in the universe is outside. The stuff inside is, in a way, the complete definition of the word. Words categorize the universe. Sometimes, I guess, the “word” is more a unit comprised of several words. Like in the phrase “a trap door in the sand” you’re drawing circles:

* a circle for “sand.” Everything in the universe that you could define as sand goes inside the circle. Everything else goes outside. It’s sand and not-sand.
* a circle for “in.” Everything in the universe that means the state of being inside something else. The states of in-ness and not-in-ness.
* a circle for “trap door.” You could start by drawing a circle for all doors, and then creating a smaller circle within that circle for all doors that can be classified as “trap” doors. That’s the way modifiers would look in this visual set-based description of language?

Don’t bug me about where articles (a, the) and stuff fall into it-I’m not trying to prove anything. I just like the shape of the idea. Of course it’s incomplete-the only people who get meticulously complete and defensive at this kind of thing are philosophy grad students and people looking for book deals. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to explore it more.

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