Week 2: Kathrine semiotic analysis for dummies

Week 2: Kathrine semiotic analysis for dummies

What is semiotic analysis?

Square holes, what us semiotic analysis, Jason Dunstone, march 14 2019 https://squareholes.com/blog/2019/03/14/semiotic-decoding-of-categories-and-culture/ 


semiotics are essentially the way we as a society are able to pick up on none explicit cues and information, for example; seeing a red light and knowing to stop, whether this be driving and stopping for a red traffic light, or not entering a room with a red light on the door as we may perceive something is happening inside such as photo development or something unsafe is behind it. despite there being no written warning on that door. We know as a society red usually indicates danger. If an alien came to earth they would most likely drive straight through that red light and walk straight into that room. This is because they wouldn’t have been conditioned to understand these semiotics as we are in order to make sense of the world around us.

To dive further into semiotics, there are many different kinds, some we use everyday and some just for specific scenarios.

visual semiotics for example we see all around us and use everyday. These are often simple signs usually with no accompanying text, such as road signs. Despite there being no text we can identify the images and infer what they mean. A picture of a white line in a red circle to the alien would mean nothing. But to us, we know from context it means no entry despite a single white line having no inherent meaning.

Traffic and road safety, medium, march 18,2022  https://waveofimagination33.medium.com/traffic-signs-and-road-safety-c69118770a4c 

Pragmatist philosopher Sanders Pierce was especially interested in the way we use  semiotics in everyday life both through physical signs and speech, Pierce theorised a 3 part model in order to show the way certain signs impact our lives and how we interpret interactions with others.

Research gate, James Nobel, jan 2005, https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figure-3-A-semiotic-model-of-metaphor_fig3_226784595 

The first of his 3 points is iconic semiotics, these are signs that represent what they are very physically, such as a map representing the shape of the country it is.

The second is index semiotics, something with a direct correlation to what they represent and what we know, for example a picture of a frosted glass to indicate a drink is cold. The viewer will understand this immediately as we know ice is cold.

Lastly is symbolic semiotics, words are an example of this, the word “book” bares no resemblance to what a book actually looks like but we know what it means because we have learnt the relationship between the word and the object.


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