A homely-looking motorcyclist was stopping precisely beneath traffic light dangling above and standing not far from her. She stopped due to seeing the red light on it. Why did she stop riding only on account of the red light she saw? What was the relevance of the red colour to the necessity of stopping?
Suppose that she had seen the red on a fluttering flag of party in front of her when riding her motorcycle on a road, would she have braked and stopped? Obviously, she would definitely not. It is highly perspicuous that there is conspicuous dissimilarity between the red on traffic light and the red on a flag or others. How does that come?
According to her, the reason she stopped was that the sign she saw was implicitly an instruction symbol for her to stop, exactly for anyone knowing its implicit meaning on it. She did not only see its naked colour, red, but as a matter of fact conceived the meaning of what the colour signified. In other words, she saw a sign. A sign always has two entities, the signifier and the signified. Otherwise, she had seen nothing.
We are living in the world of signs. Every single thing we see is a sign of what. In the case above, the red light as a sign is a signifier perceived by her towards its signified, that is the instruction to stopping. The signifier and the signified are the psychical thing of the sign. The sign must include both. Scarcely do we find a thing not a sign of what. Then, how do we determine the signifier and particularly the signified in a sign?
It is undeniable that each sign is a result of our convention which is projected and imagined together by all of us to be a meaning-including sign. Therefore, we unconsciously always conventionalize every sign appearing before us. All things are signs of what we have conventionalized. Supposing that she had not conceived the signified of the red light, she must not have continued riding her motorcycle.
Seeing one driving an expensive car, we deduce that the status of the one, that the one must be a prestigious, rich person, because we have been able to see and value a thing from the signified of the thing. What about a person not knowing conventionalized signs? Certainly (s)he cannot follow our conventionalized rules, so that (s)he feels ostracized, or at least most people must consider her or him outcast on the grounds of not being able to be normal or normalized by our rules and standards, at least according to most of the normal-feeling people.
Once more, we dwell or even are housed in a building of signs which we cannot override or elude moreover run away. Consequently, we are imposed on the burden of signs, so that we are and do feel neither free of nor free for, due to the fact that all signs regularly govern us, our thinking, our connotation, our association, and chiefly our manner. I do not mean to consider signs wicked, but they ought to be disadvantageous to us. Why? They, as a type of speech, authoritatively dictate our thinking and manner to merely conceive them as they show themselves.
Alas! Are they not made by ourselves? Indubitably yes, but we just realized that what we have made becomes uncontrollable, untamed, and that their existences are beyond us. If we ruminate on this case further and deeper, we can capture them as one of the main determinants of our humanity. If one cannot follow what a sign signifies alias the signified, then one must be supposed inappropriate or less humane than others being able to follow.
Well, do we have to celebrate the world to be the ocean of signs? However, celebrating or not either has or will become a sign of what because here we are, living in the sign of what and keeping continuing conversing them, the signs of whatever.