Given subjectivity, everything, if not almost, can be reinterpreted as a symbol. Symbols have inherent meanings depending on the party and context on which it is seen and/or experienced. Signs can be similarly interpreted as such, complete with meanings and context, only diverging from symbols as that it may or may not be a concrete object or idea.
A notable characteristic from signs and symbols are that both were given meaning inductively or deductively by people. Humans, as intelligent beings try to derive meaning from (but not limited to) things, colors, and various events in our lives. These meanings may be generated independently through free will but may be heavily influenced by other variables like society, and/or culture. The problem lies in three paths:
- Independent formulation of meaning
With independent formulation, anyone and everyone can make meaning on their own from a sign or symbol. The problem lies when people disagree. When disagreements occur, solutions range from a simple clarification to no-it’s-not-going-to-work-out-at-all.
Next is over-analysis. While signs and symbols are nice and all, there are times when we just unncessarily make meanings out of mundane things and events. This can create an unnecessary amount of anxiety and/or superstitiousness
Misinterpretation may be the worst offender in this list. Disagreements are bad but when misinterpretations happen, things can get ugly. The problem is that there is an assumption that the content in question is understood, in turn, said thought is not subject in clarification. It’s funny to think how people died this way.