Since Oct 11, the excerpt of the tag reads like:

Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, including both signs using language and non-verbal signs. Non-verbal semiotics is off-topic on this site.

To me the use of "non-verbal" here is confusing, because I interpret it as "not employing or including words or speech". This is the definition of the Oxford English Dictionary. This would suggest that the semiotics of sign language (or even written language) would be off topic, which I'm sure we don't want to suggest.

The excerpt makes an opposition between "signs using language" and "non-verbal signs", while there are non-verbal signs that use language.

I tried to improve the excerpt to:

Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, including both signs using language and extra-linguistic signs. The latter is off topic here.

This got rejected with reference to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_communication. But the wiki does not solve the problem with sign language because it explicitly excludes gestures.

So how can we come to a less confusing, more inclusive excerpt? In particular, if nothing is especially wrong with my suggested edit and the only disagreement is that it may not be necessary, why not just accept it if some people think it helpful?

  • Non-linguistic gestures are off-topic, that is intentional, however sign language does include words and speech, so even by your definition signed and written languages are included. I don't mind an edit to introduce more clarity to the tag wiki, but I don't think this usage of "non-verbal" needs fixing, and if we "fixed" it here, then it would only be appropriate to fix it everywhere else on this site too, which I don't think would be a good idea.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Oct 29, 2021 at 8:54
  • @curiousdannii (1) How does sign language necessarily include speech? (2) Do you think "extra-linguistic" is less clear? See the last sentence in my question here. (3) That there may be other places where sign language is excluded is not a reason to not fix it here.
    – Keelan
    Oct 29, 2021 at 8:57
  • I'd prefer non-linguistic over extra-linguistic. I'd be happy with "Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols, including both linguistic and non-linguistic signs. The latter is off topic on this site."
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Oct 29, 2021 at 11:08
  • 1
    @curiousdannii that works for me as well, I have proposed a new edit. Glad we could reach consensus.
    – Keelan
    Oct 29, 2021 at 11:59


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