ISSN : 2266-6060

Conventions

conventions

Crosswalks are one of these rare semiotic objects that became conventional all over the world. Quite extraordinary when you think about it: an universal meaning some signs do acquire through time. Imagine the circumstances that lead to such a globalized standardization.
That said, one should not be too amazed though. Even if these road markings are to be found almost everywhere, they may not always be as powerful as they appear. Sometimes it seems they need a little help to be reactivated. Another sign that reiterates their statement, for instance: something saying, “these white thick lines compel you to stop your car when pedestrians walk on them. And they can do it because they are tied to a law.” But the task is quite difficult. Written language is nothing but self-evident, and explaining all that requires room. Using other semiotic conventions is tempting. But we may easily fall into a trap. Are we sure we shouldn’t add another small sign to explain the « stop » symbol, and precise what the figure refers to exactly?