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ON THE WAY TO LANGUAGE

Appropriation, in that all ordering finds itself channeled into calculative thinking and therefore speaks the language of Framing. Speaking is challenged to correspond in every respect to Framing in which all present beings can be commandeered.

Within Framing, speaking turns into information.* It informs itself about itself in order to safeguard its own procedures by information theories. Framing—the nature of modern technology holding sway in all directions—commandeers for its purposes a formalized language, the kind of communication which "informs" man uniformly, that is, gives him the form in which he is fitted into the technological-calculative universe, and gradually abandons "natural language." Even when information theory has to admit that formalized language must in the end always refer back to '"natural language," in order to put into speech the Saying of the technological inventory by means of non formalized language, even this situation signifies only a preliminary stage in the current self-interpretation of information theory. For the "natural language" of which one must talk in this context is posited in advance as a not-yet-formalized language that is being set up to be framed in formalization. Formalization, the calculated availability of Saying, is the goal and the norm. The "natural" aspect of language, which the will to formalization still seems forced to concede for the time being, is not experienced and understood in the light of the originary nature of language. That nature is physis, which in its turn is based on the appropriation from which Saying arises to move. Information theory conceives of the natural aspect of language as a lack of formalization.

But even if a long way could lead to the insight that the nature of language can never be dissolved in formalism to become a part of its calculations, so that we accordingly must say that "natural language" is language which cannot be formalized-even then ""natural language"' is still being defined only negatively, that is, set off against the possibility or impossibility of formalization.

But what if "natural language," which in the eyes of information theory is no more than a troublesome residue. were


* See Hebel der Hausfreund (1957). pp 34 ff (M. H.)


Martin Heidegger (GA 12) On the Way to Language