Semiotics and the study of meaning
Signs are all around us. But I don’t just mean street signs or those plaques outside the public bathroom. In semiotics, a sign is anything that has meaning. So traffic lights, religious buildings and insignias, the alphabet, the color white, chirping birds, running water, smoke, and even the entire English language are all signs. Signs can be pictures or symbols or gestures, and they can also be sounds or tastes or smells.
Semiotics is “the study of signs”. It’s the study of meaning, the study of how we communicate. We think in signs, and so we communicate in signs. But before we talk about why semiotics is both so fascinating and important, let’s talk more about what these “signs” actually are.
Get ready to have your mind blown.