Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Getting In Over My Head

Is there more than a passing similarity between links and this?

As I understand it, Saussure's basic idea goes a little something like this...
  • Sign: the “whole” or the word itself, which contains/implies/is composed of…
  • Signified: the concept referred to
  • Signifier: the “sound-image” that refers to it
In the Land of the Link perhaps it goes a little something like this...
  • Sign: the page itself, after loading/publishing
  • Signified: the URL indicated by the link
  • Signifier: whatever has been chosen to "carry" the link (word, image, etc.)
To Saussure it follows that:
The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary. Since I mean by sign the whole that results from the associating of the signifier with the signified, I can simply say: the linguistic sign is arbitrary.
Damn straight (as per linksville)! While common sense prevails, trends exist, and some even want to codify a system of linking, the "bond between the 'signifier' and the 'signified' is arbitrary". Manipulation of this idea is, I think, the Art of the Link.


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