Semiotics, or semiology, is usually traced back to both Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. As with any academic school of thought, semiotics has its proponents, detractors, and scholarly disputes. But, whatever else you can say about it, these days semiotics serves as a very useful set of tools for identifying many of the formal patterns that work to make meaning in many aspects of our culture, particularly the media.
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