SIGNIFIER: detail from a text which has a symbolic meaning.
SIGNIFIED/SIGNIFIES: the symbolic meaning/interpretation which links to the reading of the text.
DENOTE/DENOTATION: a description of what we see or hear within in a text.
CONNOTE/CONNOTATION: the symbolic meaning of these factual details.
E.G. when we can DENOTE a male having stubble and dark hair this often CONNOTES villainy.
BINARY OPPOSITION: they are a key device for generating conflict and drama and when they're placed together we can talk of binary opposites being juxtaposed meaning they're paired together to emphasise the contrast and difference.
E.G. male/female, rich/poor, rural/urban.
POLYSEMY: every media text is essentially polysemic as it has many possible meanings.
ANCHORAGE: this is when we fix an interpretation to a text, because signifiers have been embedded within the text which point the audience towards a preferred interpretation.
COMMUTATION TEST: considering how the meaning of a signifier would be influenced if it was to be changed, which tells us if a detail in a text is important or not.
- PREFERRED: how the creators hope you will respond to their media.
- NEGOTIATED: the audience mostly understand the preferred reading but don't fully follow it, meaning they reject/are unaware of some of the signifiers in the text.
- OPPOSITIONAL: the audience constantly rejects the meaning and interpretation that is being encoded by the directors.
NARRATIVE ENIGMA: certain elements are purposely hidden from the audience, to build up a sense of mystery and drama.
INTERTEXTUALITY: creating an overall impression of a text which targets a certain audience, however the meaning is tied to another, earlier text.
E.G. to understand 'Scary Movie' you'd need to have seen 'Scream', which it spoofs.