An interesting attempt to create symbols for commonly used nouns. Their search tab is pretty handy and the overall feel is oh so crispy Helvetica! My curiosity led to some cool-ass results and a lack of some others (love, war, food, bed, work,). Some results just made me sad but only made me realize that this is the reflection of our times.
Wordweb further helped clear things in my head.
Noun: A content word that can be used to refer to a person, place, thing, quality, or action.
Icon: A visual representation (of an object, scene, person or abstraction) produced on a surface
Ideogram: A graphic character that indicates the meaning of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it
An attempt is here but not really universal. The open source, creative commons nature of the project is only helping the cause positively. However, a very limited dictionary yet but a safety filter so sound there are no surprises, maybe a very good thing for a pictogram design (that the image is familiar and rings a bell I the direction of the root word). But still, largely first world centric. Maybe, the key is in the representation of not the object, but its essence, of not making icons but ideograms.
How awesome would the world be when a picture could replace words? Can we ever develop visual language for the entire world devoid of prejudices and pre-experiences? Can visuals really talk?
Also, I chanced upon one BRILLIANT EXAMPLE just in the middle of writing this post!!!! such good timing!