There is a general consensus that words are merely made up of arbitrary symbols and are thus themselves arbitrary symbols. I agree with the principle of this (the letter 's' is just a squiggly line...). But I have always held that words are "things" and not just symbols or shadows of thoughts. I suppose words simultaneously can be things and symbols just like any other material object--in fact this is partially why I argue that words are things. I can't fully articulate why I feel that words are things, and it seems reductive to merely designate words as the product of a complex system of signs and symbols which we all agree to. Are there any philosophical works (as opposed to linguistic) that examine this subject at length? Thank You.