Signification beyond the literal level: beyond that which is explicitly denoted or depicted, as in a pun (see allusion; connotation; hidden agenda; imagery; implicit meaning; irony; latent meaning; metaphor; metaphoric meaning; subtext; symbolism). This is subjective and related to the openness of a text to interpretation (see also open and closed texts; readerly; writerly). Surplus meaning is avoided in instrumental communication and informational texts; expressive communication and aesthetic texts tend to depend on it, as in literature and art; advertising also often exploits it. See also orders of signification.
Subjects: Media Studies.