Saturday, May 07, 2005

signs, signs, everywhere the signs

If you've read Umberto Eco's books (his Foucault's Pendulum is the story that the 'Da Vinci Code' tripe was poorly based on) you may have noticed that he's listed as a 'Professor of Semiotics'. So what the hell is 'semiotics'? The dictionary says it is 'the theory and study of signs and symbols... comprising semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics'. Like that explains anything. My own personal definition of semiotics is "the thing that makes Jorge Luis Borges' stories interesting", which is only useful if you've read his stuff too.

If you haven't, or if you want to know more, Daniel Chandler provides a good introduction to semiotics in his Semiotics for Beginners.