"The meaning of a word isn't something that you get from a dictionary, but from how the word is used and the context in which it's put. Everything in our lives is defined in this way. A sound is meaningful because it is different from every other sound. Language becomes a play of differences...

"Context is everything, but context is limitless. At a certain point we agree that we don't need any more context, that I get what you're saying. But there's nothing finally to prevent someone else from saying, Hey, there's a whole larger situation out there that completely changes everything, he's really joking, there are all these other motivations, he's really lying. There's always the possibility that new contextual things can come in.

"In this world today, we are always learning more information about situations. This kind of anxiety is the postmodern condition."

(From an interview with Samuel Delany, on his use of the golden, and why its lack of completeness makes people uneasy.)