“Take a Larousse dict. and copy all the so-called “abstract” words. i.e., those which have no concrete reference.
Compose a schematic sign designating each of these words. (this sign can be composed with the standard stops.)
These signs must be thought of as the letters of the new alphabet.
A grouping of several signs will determine
(utilize colors – in order to differentiate what would correspond in this [literature] to the substantive, verb, adverb declensions, conjugations etc.)
Necessity for ideal continuity. i.e.: each grouping will be connected with the other groupings by a strict meaning (a sort of grammar, no longer requiring a pedagogical sentence construction. But, apart from the differences of languages, and the “figures of speech” peculiar to each language – weighs and measures some abstractions of substantives, of negatives, of relations of subject to verb, etc, by means of standard signs. (representing these new relations: conjugations, declensions, plural and singular, adjectivation inexpressible by the concrete alphabetic forms of languages living now and to come.).
This alphabet very probably is only suitable for the description of this picture.”
(Duchamp, note from The Green Box (published 1934), trans. George Heard Hamilton.)