A structure for nontextual communications

  • Jay Doblin
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 13)


Communication is the production, transmission, and consumption of messages. Messages, discrete units of content, can be as simple as a wink or as complex as the Encyclopedia Britannica. To prepare ourselves to function effectively in this new era requires structuring communications. We begin by identifying and defining key terms. Whereas engineers know the precise meanings of the terms they use (such as torsion, moment, velocity, and so on) the terms communicators use are ambiguous. For example, communicators still argue about the meaning of the elementary term “writing”; a final decision must be made if it means the actual marks on the page which people read or an activity carried on by writers as they conceive content. Once the key terms are defined, they must be related using diagrammatic models. This paper provides a classification and description of various pictorial and linguistic communicative techniques.


License Plate Realistic Photograph Message Form Graphic Language Information Message 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Shannon, C. E., & Weaver, W. The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1949.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Doblin

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