Today's Chinese Semiotics Lesson

By James Fallows

Wherever you go, there you are. From the Beijing Metro:

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Click on the photo to see a much bigger version. Discussion on Reddit of the Heisenbergian aspects here. You'll be relieved to know that my wife's Dreaming in Chinese has a chapter on the philosophy behind subway maps like this. And please consider a related classic of the translation genre.

To follow previous discussion on the mystery of street signs in Beijing, I've received a link to a helpful encyclopedic guide to the iconography -- hell, the semiotics! -- of all "thou shalt not" prohibition signs on Chinese streets. But right now the link, to a site in China, appears to be down. Will provide it later. Thanks to Mike Jarmy and Tim Smith.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/todays-chinese-semiotics-lesson/239668/