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aberrant decoding

A Dictionary of Media and Communication

Daniel Chandler,

Rod Munday

aberrant decoding 

Making sense of a message or text in terms of a different code from the one used to encode it (Eco). This can be the basis for cultural misunderstandings: for example, the hand gesture made by joining the thumb and forefinger into a circle signifies ‘OK’ in the UK and the USA but in France it signifies ‘worthless’ or ‘zero’ and in Brazil it is an obscene gesture. See also encoding/decoding model; preferred reading.

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