Semiotics and Nonverbal Communication

Semiotics is about how meaning and understanding are created. It’s all about communication.

If you’re not a media student or don’t know about this subject google it and a whole new world of awareness will open up. It is important in every aspect of writing, from the written word, for getting the editing and presentation right, and for marketing.

It’s a whole lot of fun to discover and an important awareness exercise. I could write a hundred pages on the subject or more, but it would be a waste of time since it is all there on google.

Semiotics is part of nonverbal communication.

What I try to remember, and often fail, is that when someone is reading what I have written they can’t see my facial expression, they don’t always have context to refer to and they cannot hear my tone of voice. That’s strange because I can hear it in my head when I write. That’s a good reason for someone else editing. It’s why what I think I have written and what I have actually written can be two different things.

Paralanguage is an NVC – important in dialogue- pauses, the lowering of the voice or the shouting. I sometimes find this difficult to get absolutely right.

Semiotics goes beyond grammar. It makes context and description important. If someone wears pale pink or bright red lipstick it says something about them. I must stop there or I am off on all the stuff that is on google. (Google color semiotics)


In marketing semiotics comes up hugely. Branding, cultural association,  and when we are using social media and adverts.

Tweeting can be hard because of economizing with punctuation and explanation. Blogging needs good pictures (my Achilles heel). Covers and websites are all using semiotics.

It’s a fascinating subject and can be fun – really.