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Signs of the Times

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

Everywhere we go we’re surrounded by all kinds of symbols — so many so that we barely even think about them. Where did these symbols come from, and when?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What’s the difference between a symbol and a sign? Actually, it’s not so simple. Sometimes a symbol can also be a sign, and a sign can be a symbol. But generally, a sign is a physical guide that instructs — for example, road signs, or the signs in airports — whereas a symbol represents something more abstract.

Symbols can be almost anything — objects, words, sounds, or images. There are probably millions of symbols across the world. Some symbols are understood internationally — for example, kosher certification symbols. But some symbols are only understood in certain countries, while other symbols have very different meanings in different parts of the world!

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