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Signifier / Signified, Denotation and Connontation, Binary Oppositions and Polysemy

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In Semiology there are two terms, which are used to interpret signs such as the signifier and signified. The signifier is a sign portrayed by the way we choose to apprehend it. For example: Steam in the shower or the cigarette smoke in a nightclub. Signified is part of the signifier that gives us a mental conception to the signs presented. For example, the steam in a shower gives us a persons psychological conception as being hot or purifying the facial pores. The cigarette smoke within a nightclub gives us the psychological vision that the premises are dirty, smelly or the perception of not being able to breath properly.

        Semiotics is a big importance with significant signs and explains to us the way society chooses to read these particular signs. In everyday life, we all read signs without being fully aware of it. For instance, red or white could be portrayed to us as just a colour, but all of us choose to see red or white as a sign for various moods and emotions. The colours red and

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Denotation and connotation are two terms used in semiology to identify a particular object or sign and then interpret its associated meaning.

        Denotation is lucidly to read a text as it is and understand its literal meaning. Then we add an associated meaning to the text, which is connotation. Like a cross for example, could be perceived with denotation simply as a shape or a piece of jewellery, but with connotation we can connect it to religion and Christ. Another example is a dove; it can be interpreted not only as a bird but also as a sign of piece or freedom or good luck.

        Semiotics plays a crucial role in the media and has existence in our everyday lives, the same as connotation and denotation. The reason is that a person will always find an alternative meaning behind an object or image they see, whether it is from knowledge or memory. Even something as straight forward as a simple apple, we choose to look at it as just a piece of fruit, but then it can be used as a sign of temptation.

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        Polysemy is a term we use in the media and our everyday lives to describe an image that has numerous explanations, depending on the way an individual chooses to acknowledge it. Either it is an abstract from a film, an advertisement or an object; the way we all are influenced by the meaning is completely up to the psychological function of our own minds. For example, chocolate is an edible object that most of us will find scrumptious, irritable and tasty. On the other hand, individuals may have an alternative perception of the object chocolate; for instance, gaining weight causes acne or just doesn’t taste very nice.

        Polysemy doesn’t only work with just simple objects but with the way we all choose to interpret absolulutely anything on our planet. Most things we acknowledge for instance; pop videos, soap operas, films, books, music, newspapers and advertisements have many elements that influence an individuals mind which entails sound, colour, images, feelings, music and written text.

        It is in our lexicon the way in which we choose to analyse almost everything. In society, our perceptions on what message we receive from that device are inconsistent.

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