12. It is like looking into the cabin of a locomotive. We see handles all looking more or less alike. (Naturally, since they are all supposed to be handled.) But one is the handle of a crank which can be moved continuously (it regulates the opening of a valve); another is the handle of a switch, which has only two effective positions, it is either off or on; a third is the handle of a brake-lever, the harder one pulls on it, the harder it brakes; a fourth, the handle of a pump: it has an effect only so long as it is moved to and fro.

ELUCIDATION

  1. Words all look superficially alike - naturally, since they are all written down and supposed to be read. But they do all sorts of different jobs in the machine of our form of life.
  2. Some words are connected to an analog job ('height'). Some are connected to a digital job ('gold'). We could imagine making the mistake, by overhasty generalising and abstracting, of thinking that all words do a digital job. We could imagine making the mistake of thinking that all words name objects.