It is… possible to conceive of a science which studies the role of signs as part of social life. It would form part of social psychology, and hence of general psychology. We shall call it semiology (from the Greek semeîon, ‘sign’). It would investigate the nature of signs and the laws governing them. Since it does not yet exist, one cannot say for certain that it will exist. But it has a right to exist, a place ready for it in advance. Linguistics is only one branch of this general science. The laws which semiology will discover will be laws applicable in linguistics, and linguistics will thus be assigned to a clearly defined place in the field of human knowledge.

—Cited in Chandler’s “Semiotics for Beginners”, Introduction.

The Name Game” is an American pop song written and performed by Shirley Ellis as a rhyming game that creates variations on a person’s name. Ellis told Melody Maker magazine that the song was based on a game she played as a child. The Name Game could also be applied to buildings. Architecture & Design looked at buildings which have had a moniker assigned to them. In 1st place is a building from… NZ! “The Beehive is the common name for the Executive Wing of New Zealand’s parliament buildings. The original concept was designed by Scottish architect Basil Spence in 1964. It got its name due to looking like a beehive.” Duh! Building nicknames are always visual associations. In 2nd place is “The Gherkin or 30 St Mary Axe in London was previously known as the Swiss Re Building. It was designed by Norman Foster and Arup, and was completed in 2003. It got its name due to its highly unorthodox… (da-rah) appearance.” In 5th place is “The Shard: This 87-storey skyscraper is known as The Shard, but also the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower. It is currently the tallest building in the European Union and was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. Piano’s design was met with criticism from English Heritage, which claimed the building would be “a shard of glass through the heart of historic London”, thus its name was born. It helps it also looks like a shard of glass.” Interestingly enough, NZ has some heritage in nicknames and thus has tiny URLs embedded in its national psyche. Recent commentary during the World Cup Cricket has made colloquial reference to Wellington’s Regional Stadium: “The highlight of Guptill’s late-innings assault was a 110m six he launched over mid-wicket and onto the roof of the ‘Cake Tin’. Beyond architecture, other forms of popular culture have also demonstrated the Name Game. A Dog’s Show was a television series that was screened at prime time on a Sunday night. This gave a mass national audience exposure to ‘canine name games’, Ted, Red, Fred, which facilitate expedient sheep herding!

The Beehive8-buildings-with-interesting-nicknames-416775-xl 8-buildings-with-interesting-nicknames-416778-xlwww.blablablarchitecture.com


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