4.011 At first glance a sentence – as it exists printed on paper perhaps – seems not to be a picture of the reality with which it deals. But so too do written notes seem at first glance not to be a picture of music, nor our written signs for sounds (letters) to be a picture of our spoken language.
And yet these symbolisms prove to be pictures – even in the ordinary sense of the word – of what they represent.
Really? A written sentence is a picture, in the ordinary sense, of a spoken sentence? Notes picture music? They represent these things, I think we can say that. So perhaps “Bild” is better translated as representation than as picture. Then propositions represent reality as we conceive of it, or imagine it, or take it to be. This sounds fair enough, albeit perhaps not very interesting.
Black (p. 163) says that the bit about pictures even in the ordinary sense “can hardly be defended.” On the same page, above this, he quotes