from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. One that signifies.
- n. Linguistics A linguistic unit or pattern, such as a succession of speech sounds, written symbols, or gestures, that conveys meaning; a linguistic sign. The signifier of the concept "tree” is, in English, the string of speech sounds (t), (r), and (ē); in German, (b), (ou), and (m).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The sound of spoken word or string of letters on a page that a person recognizes as a sign.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who or that which signifies, indicates, or makes known.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something
A social signifier is one that is either created or interpreted by people or society, signifying social activity or appropriate social behavior.
This country's chief signifier is our staggering capacity to isolate ourselves from the effects of our political and lifestyle choices.
Return of the MacGuffin: Iran and Nuclear Weapons (K-punk) “A MacGuffin (sometimes spelt McGuffin or Magoffin), an empty master-signifier, is a now-ubiquitous plot device or catalyst that holds no meaning or purpose of its own except to motivate the players or characters and advance a narrative or story.”
The fallacious translation of trope into signifier is symptomatically reiterated later in the chapter in the form of an atypical terminological mistake.
The ideas behind the words, the signified beyond the signifier, is what really matters.
The signifier is the word itself, its sound and the actual sequence of its letters.
If we presume the signifier is the signified we fall into the trap of logocentrism.
Both are psychological: the signifier is a “sound - image,” the signified is the concept associated with this sound-image.
Rewriting the Saussurean model for a design perspective would look like this: S - signifier, the expression, The FORM, the aesthetics, Objective - outer world s - signified, the content, The CONCEPT, what it stands for, Subjective - innerworld The signifier is the physical form of an object; what we see, touch and smell in the objective and shared reality.
Thus, although there are many possible signifiers of wind speed and direction, including flags, the movement of grasses or tree leaves, or traveling debris, if the signifier is a flag, it is also a social signifier, for it had to be placed in its location by people, presumably for a reason (which may have nothing to do with providing an indication of the wind).