"When a word inscribes itself as the citation of another sense of the same word. . . the choice of only one of these renditions by the translator has as its first effect the neutralization of the citational play, of the "anagram," and, in the end, quite simply of the very textuality of the translated text. . . "Textuality being constituted by differences and by differences from differences, it is by nature absolutely heterogeneous and is constantly composing with the forces that tend to annihilate it (Dissemination 98)."
"Differance, the disappearance of any originary presence, is at once the condition of possibility and the condition of impossibility of truth (Dissemination 168)."
The essential term to understand in Dissemination is the notion of differance. It is the basis on which Derrida explains his entire theory of meaning production; at the same time, the word itself contributes to the explanation of that theory. The contention is something like this: signs do not convey positive, self-identical meaning by a simple unification between signifier and signified; meaning is not created within single signifying units, but through the differential and deferential relations within the entire system of signs. For instance, a definition for a word in the dictionary is really only made up by other words. Nevertheless it is critical to keep in mind that Derrida believed differential relations between whole signs are initially produced and recognized in the order of the signifier. Allow the word "differance" to serve as an example. Interestingly enough, in French the words for "difference" and "deference" are spelled the same way, as "difference." By thinking associatively we can interpret "differance" to call upon both these concepts, and yet, remain dissimilar to them by the inclusion of the "a". In so doing, Derrida insists that through their negative relationships, or their differences, words can ironically produce meaning. However, Derrida also shows that rough similarities in signifiers can mesh two purportedly distinct concepts together. Obviously, the signifier seems here to carry a certain power over the signified in determining meaning.