And on the subject of print: what does ‘press’ mean when nothing is actually ‘pressed’? It doesn’t seem to be the same.

For a long time, the idea of making a mark, making something permanent (or at least long-enough-lasting to allow a moment’s consideration), came from an idea of contact. This is no longer true. Nothing is ‘pressed’ beyond the keyboard, and yet it still appears in ‘print’.  If it were all printed, we’d have no more trees at all, and fast.

You might wonder also, what this has to do with traditions of ‘expression’, which have to do with squeezing meaning in and out of print, at least in part.  A sort of parallel to (and inversion of)  the act of squeezing something onto a page or painting or medium in the first place.

Curiously, the idea of ‘express’ as ‘fast’ comes only later, with the idea that a train (such as the ICE ‘sprinter’ on which I’m currently riding and writing) would only go to certain ‘expressed’ (i.e. named) stations.

In this case, the opposite of ‘express’ is ‘local’ (see: NY subway, A train vs. C train, or 1/9 v. 2/3).

If you have nothing from which meaning can be pressed, I guess you’re left with only rhymes or memes.

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