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Différance means that a sign is temporarily meaningful and its meaning may be revised when other signs are added in a signifying chain. Does anyone know any good examples of the deferral of a sign's meaning? Thanks very much.

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  • One prime example is all the different (différant) ways people define truth. Commented May 13 at 16:40

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<<[Derrida's] focus is on the process by which language secretly embodies, replicates and enforces certain ways of thinking, certain beliefs and values - a process which on occasion he describes as "violence">> (Différance - WP)

Différance means that a sign is temporarily meaningful and its meaning may be revised when other signs are added in a signifying chain.

Not really. It is a "differentiation" that happens internally to a/the language (system of signs) itself, where it is not so much that the meaning of terms is deferred, it is that new distinctions get introduced. IOW, the system of meanings (and values), as represented by the system of signs, becomes more and more detailed/refined: <<meaning is not only synchronous differentiation from other terms inside a structure of marks or traces [as in structuralism], but also diachronous referral back to the origins and development of the mark or trace and its meanings>>.

Does anyone know any good examples of the deferral of a sign's meaning?

A system of signs and their meanings can in fact undergo a process of "revision", due to external factors, especially cultural, social and political ones. Anyway, "différance" is the name of an analysis that transcends and rather includes those factors as determining the system of signs and meanings: the "origins" of it, in the sense of the previous paragraph.

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