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Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things: An Introduction to Semiotics

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  7 reviews
This book deals with one the most interesting aspects of human life--the search for meaning. It discusses how the science of semiotics is equipped to provide insight on what meaning is and how we produce it. Why is it that certain people routinely put their survival at risk by smoking? Why is it that some women make locomotion difficult for themselves by donning high-heel ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published May 9th 2018 by Palgrave MacMillan (first published June 1st 1999)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
It felt as if the promise of this book was wider than the delivery.
Q:
Similarly, to an outsider the Russian kalbak appears to be a brimless red hat; to a Russian living in rural areas, it once meant that the wearer is a medical doctor. (c) Uhhh… There is NO 'kalbak' in Russian. Exactly what the writer is talking about?? Where does he get his info?
PS. A fellow Goodreader pointed out, the word the author wanted to mention was 'kolpak'. Well, there is 'kolpak' word. It never was a national hat worn
...more
Kogiopsis
We can know ourselves today only by knowing how we got here.


It took me all nearly-200 pages of this book to figure out that essentially, it was a case study in the same analytical skills I'd already honed in two years of AP English courses and four years of liberal arts undergraduate education. Objects and actions have meaning beyond their apparent surfaces: gee, shocker! Except... not so much. This was kind of old hat.

That said, it still gets three stars for a couple of reasons. One, it's a
...more
Oriana
Nov 15, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Heh. I wrote a paper in college on the semiotics of smoking. One of my fervent non-smoking friends read it and said I can't believe I'm saying this, but this really makes me want to have a cigarette. Don't worry, though, he didn't.
Hal Carim
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Danesi's Of Cigarettes, High Heels and other Interesting Things is an entertaining layman's guide to Semiotics - The theory and study of signs and symbols - and its relevance to the human quest / thirst for meaning. The book takes as a case study of a promising outcomes dinner date with its tactile, visual and sensory exchanges and weaves into it the history of symbols and myths by thinkers from antiquity to the modern age. This book is a perfect complement to Jung's Man and His Symbols.
Melissa
Nov 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about semiotics (study of signs) there are some very intersting chapters on High Heels and why women wear them, and how other things are seen as sexual even though "we" may not be intending to exude sexuality.
Rachael
I only stopped reading this one because I was going through it in small chunks and had renewed it from the library several times already..

Very interesting.. makes you stop and think about all actions and thoughts and expectations and behaviour and why that is the norm for today.

Looked into history and development of trends / behaviour / appearance etc, and comparison of cultures.

Only slightly irritating thing was that it didn't delve too deeply into explanations - I feel I have to do a lot of my
...more
Becky Ayers
Nov 14, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I'm already interested in semiotics thanks to my philosophy and lit theory classes, so I can only hope that this book won't disappoint.
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Marcel Danesi (b. Marcello Danesi, 1946) is a current Professor of Semiotics and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He is known for his work in language, communications, and semiotics; being Director of the Program in Semiotics and Communication Theory.

He has also held positions at Rutgers University (1972), The University of Rome "La Sapienza" (1988), the Catholic University o
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