Code-X (9)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Codebreaking, Semiotics


Call this Digestive Supplements market category code: S2S (Sister-to-Sister).


Definition: The authority claim for the digestive supplement is because a peer — someone just like you, who’s tested the product — vouches for it.

phillips colon

Notes on this code: Brands in this category can’t rely on medical-authority coding — because medical science doesn’t believe that supplements work. In what sort of authority can the consumer trust? There are several non-medical authority codes in this category — Pharmacist coding, for example, and Ancient/Exotic Remedy coding — but the dominant authority code is S2S.



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Joshua Glenn is a cultural and brand semiotician, and co-principal of the agency SEMIOVOX LLC. He is editor and publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age sci-fi paperback imprint HILOBOOKS. He is author of (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY (2008) and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY (2011); and he is co-editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY (2007) and SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS (2012). With Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Tony Leone, Josh produced the popular family activities guides UNBORED (2012), UNBORED GAMES (2014), and UNBORED ADVENTURE (2015), not to mention two UNBORED activity kits from MindWare. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT. He was born and raised in Boston, where he lives with his wife and sons.