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Steps in Semiotics

October 26th, 2011

Step1- Read through the first few words of the text and start to gather an overall mental image in your head of  it. At this point there is no need for you to have to grasp all the ideas and information being conveyed.
Step2-  Take each word and  create a signifier or a symbol that will help you understand what is being represented. By having mental images you are creating the basic foundation for your understanding of the text.
Step3- You are now ready to start taking the mental images and put meaning behind them. This is not done  instantaneously, but is done through the comprehension of your mental image and the wide range of options in which context the words were placed into.
Step4- Now you can continue  with the reading and perform the process that was done to the previous set of words. Redo step numbers 2 and 3.
Step5- After completing each small group of words and completing the reading  you should be able to gather an overall picture of what was written.  Develop the meaning behind the words and the signs within the text’s language.

When a semiotician would read through Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65 they would be dazed and confused. They would read the first line and automatically think that Shakespeare is speaking of nature. They would then read on and gather all these different ideas within the sonnet such as power,summer, havoc, time’s chest, pretty things to represent beauty, a hand, the sun, and black ink. With the conclusion of this list nothing can really be determined as far as what is being said. This is because the semiotician would be able to gather signs from the poem but no meaning can be gathered. These symbols are varied between happiness and darkness in the sense that they are widely apart. If the semiotician puts these signs or symbols together they would create mental images that are far different from what Shakespeare had written in Sonnet 65.

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  1. October 31st, 2011 at 04:01 | #1

    I agree with this! I think between steps 3 and 4, it would be beneficial to think of the words and their meanings and what it doesn’t mean (what words were not chosen because this one was chosen) and compare it in that sense.

  2. October 30th, 2011 at 23:26 | #2

    Your mention of the non-instantaneous development of one’s brain to assign meaning to each read word is interesting. I wonder if this process is actually somewhat more immediate than you, it seems, expect it might be. In other words, the image or meaning of a specific read word is concluded based on more of process-of-elimination (from all other definitions that it is NOT) than the assigning of it an original definition. I think this process-of-elimination approach might actually require less brain-power, and therefore be, if slightly, more spit-back and instant than the development of something new, in line with my comprehension of your steps above.

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