Here are a few attributes that a text may have: "name", "length", "quality", etc.

What's the name of the text attribute that refers to the text itself? Would that be the text's "content", the text's "body" or something else?

  • The only word for the text attribute that refers to the text itself is 'self-referential'. Need more context. May 14, 2011 at 14:58
  • I'm not looking for just a word, but rather, an attribute - a belonging of the subject - the text. A text can not possess a "self-referential". May 14, 2011 at 16:59

3 Answers 3


The word body certainly works. The text itself also works. As far as I know, there is no one, single clear-cut "right" answer to this.

  • 1
    Yes - "body of the text" is standard.
    – The Raven
    May 14, 2011 at 21:00

If you have a variable or a field that contains text, the "text itself" is normally considered to be the value of the variable or the content of the field.

If by "text" you mean "a written work" such as a book or short story, then body or content are good ways to refer to the actual story itself (as opposed to features that describe it such as its length, author, etc.).


Text is text. It doesn't require another noun to write it down.

That said, you can refer to the "characters" or "words" or "wording" of a text. You can refer to its contents as well, but if you refer to the singular "content" you are probably more likely to be talking about a passage's meaning or subject matter.

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