Basic Dictionary of Contemporary Media
University of Toronto
The study of media and contemporary cyberculture has produced a vast repertory of notions, ideas, techniques, theories, and methods of analysis. Many of these are borrowed and adapted from cognate disciplines; but others are self-generated, and are thus new, interesting, and often controversial. Newcomers to this field may thus experience unease or consternation with the vast terrain of terms that have emerged over the last few decades. This dictionary is an attempt to provide a map through this terrain. The dictionary casts as wide a net as possible, so as to gather within two covers the bulk of the ideas and technical terms that the student or interested general reader might want to know in order to decipher the relevant literature. It is designed to be concise, as far as possible, rather than detailed and exhaustive. A comprehensive general dictionary of this field—that is, a reference work for a general readership that presents the main aspects of the field—is actually nowhere to be found. There are dictionaries of different technological, historical or psychological aspects; but a general reference manual that contains all of these is lacking. The purpose of the present dictionary is to fill this gap.
Marcel Danesi is Professor of Anthropology and Semiotics at the University of Toronto. He has published numerous books on puzzles and games and has written puzzles for periodicals such as "Reader's Digest," "Prevention Magazine," and "Psychology Today." He also directs a centre within the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematics where he conducted research on puzzles of all kinds. He is also editor-in-chief of "Semiotica" and of various book series.