SYMBOL: a cryptic form which means whatever you make of it at the time :-)

A symbol is a perceived form which is consistently associated with something deemed to be significant. It is a catalyst-stimulus for the mind whereby a concept is induced from the memory by association. Musicians use leit-motivs, political groups use flags, cultural groups use food and clothing, commercial enterprises use logos, and geeks use emoticons. Gardeners use scarecrows as symbols of their frustration and impotence with respect to avian free-loaders. The uniquely codeable elemental characters of a written alphabet are used individually or in pairs as symbols in science and mathematics, for all the elements and the principal physical parameters... in addition to their linguistic function of constructing words.

In some circumstances a symbol can also act as a 'sign' conveying information about location or expectations. The presence of a company logo on the physical building which houses the company is both a symbol for the company and a sign marking its location. The traffic no-U-turn symbol labels the location where such action is forbidden and so also acts as a sign. The innumerable eating and toilet signs in use around the world are both a symbolic representation of the facilities and markers as to exactly where they are. Many road-signs don't appear to be symbolic of anything. They simply label or point to a place. They indicate where the locals say you are, but because it is unlikely to be recorded on your out-of-date tourist map or your GPS device, you will still be lost even though you know where you are.

Graffiti are symbolic visual urinations. Historically, a symbolic scratching made on an archaeological artefact with a stylus was referred to in technical literature as a graffito. As blank walls, public lavatories and unsigned objects proliferated however, they provided an ideal display medium for the many territorial scribblings of social and political pressure groups, eventually becoming known by the plural term graffiti. Such graffiti therefore are often the symbolic territorial markers of humans whose urine is insufficiently pungent. They are simply graphic warning signs to intruders and so act as symbols. In a similar manner, certain theorists display algebraic graffiti to warn off ordinary citizens and gardeners, when they intrude with their assumptions and ordinary everyday language concepts. The obscurantism of symbolic algebraic notation ensures the secrecy of the arguments from critical scrutiny and the continued promotion of their significance in esoteric circles. Pragmatically of course, the main function of an algebraic notation is to express and manipulate true statements about logical entities using established definitions, rules and conventions. Numerous quasi-priest cosmologists however, who are privy to concentrations of archived scratchings, enjoy promoting their obscurantisms as existentially significant territorial markings.

Even the scent of urine itself might function both as a symbol and a sign. It is certainly a territorial marker sign for an animal but if it conveys information to other individuals about what it is, then it is also functioning as symbol. In the case of humans, celebrity autograph signing, signatures on cheques and paintings and the territorial marking of social gangs, are all manifestations of the fact that their sense of smell is very limited. If the truth be known, although humans 'sign' on the dotted line with their supposedly symbolic 'signature'... as a marker that a document has been sighted and agreed to as to its contents... in fact for many policies, agreements and treaties, it would have probably been more appropriate to urinate on it.