Article published in:X-Scapes: New horizons in Linguistic Landscapes
Edited by Crispin Thurlow and Kellie Gonçalves
[Linguistic Landscape 5:2] 2019
► pp. 115–141
The grapheme and symbol x has been documented as relatively indeterminate and polysemic (e.g. Gale, 2015). Yet, various typographic, orthographic and other design choices make it particularly salient in the contemporary semiotic landscape. The paper starts by outlining briefly the history of the changing uses and associations of x in different areas of social life. This is followed by discussion of the typographic and orthographic salience of x, emphasizing its unique, unsettling, and ‘foreignizing’ effect on displayed language. The paper concludes by linking the salience of x with a global verbal-visual register that I have called ‘globalese’ (Jaworski, 2015a), and by briefly pointing to its origins in the typographic experiments of avant-garde art.
Keywords: letter ‘x’, typography, orthography, globalese, multimodality, text-based art, semiotic landscape
Published online: 22 July 2019
[ p. 139 ]
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Cited by other publications
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