Semiotic Symbol

        A semiotic symbol is the most subtle variety of signifier because it is the most arbitrary in its association of signified with a signifier.  Languages are the supreme example of symbol systems, and symbolic manipulation is the skill taught to English Majors by which they achieve fame and fortune interpreting the mysteries of hidden structures to the dazzled world.  In Saussure's famous example, there is no necessary connection between "arbor" and the class of tall woody plants we call "tree" with a similar irrelevance, nor is there any necessary connection between either the sound or the visual representation of "equos" and the large-hoofed quadruped we represent by the whimsical letters "horse."