§35. There are, of course, what can be called "characteristic experiences" of pointing to (e.g.) the shape. For example, following the outline with one's finger or with one's eyes as one points.—But this does not happen in all cases in which I 'mean the shape', and no more does any other one characteristic process occur in all these cases.—Besides, even if something of the sort did recur in all cases, it would still depend on the circumstances—that is, on what happened before and after the pointing—whether we should say "He pointed to the shape and not to the colour".
For the words "to point to the shape", "to mean the shape", and so on, are not used in the same way as these: "to point to this book (not to that one), "to point to the chair, not to the table", and so on.—Only think how differently we learn the use of the words "to point to this thing", "to point to that thing", and on the other hand "to point to the colour, not the shape", "to mean the colour", and so on.
To repeat: in certain cases, especially when one points 'to the shape' or 'to the number' there are characteristic experiences and ways of pointing—'characteristic' because they recur often (not always) when shape or number are 'meant'. But do you also know of an experience characteristic of pointing to a piece in a game as a piece in a game?
All the same one can say: "I mean that this piece is called the 'king', not this particular bit of wood I am pointing to". (Recognizing, wishing, remembering, etc..)


  1. Notice once again the natural use of chess pedagogically. It must be taken seriously.
  2. The characteristic (private) experiences associated with the use of the word, say, 'chess', are interesting to us, but they are not an essential feature of the way the word 'chess' does its job for us. When I say 'Chess?' to our Reading Group, one person may have an memory tinged with sadness, as he recalls the games he used to play with his father. Another may experience an intense urge to play a game. A third may vividly remember a famous move in a competition. Fine - but none of this particularly matters to the use of the word 'Chess?', as a tool for communication. Lots of people may have a similar experience, such that it could be called 'characteristic'. Also fine. But this is a detached matter of fact, which has nothing particular to do with the way the word works in our public language game - which is, for example, that Matt says "Does anyone have a chess-board?", Uzma replies "I think I have one at home, somewhere", and Alice says "Actually, I have one in my pocket", and takes out a board, lays it out, and we all say "Do you always carry around a chess board?!", and so on. The public language is doing its job of communication, of easing things in our form of life, of achieving various aims, while the (private) experiences, empirically characteristic or not, just drift along as a kind of epiphenomenon - important to us individually, because they are right in front of us, but unimportant to the workings of the tool.