A code is basically a set of symbols or signs, these have the same origin and an already determined function. For its use a series of rules is used that establish which are the combinations that allow to create a coherent message .

There are many types of codes , usually it is spoken of the written language and the oral language. Although these are the most common examples because they are part of people’s daily lives, it must also be considered that this is a much broader issue.

In music there is the musical notation , which allows the notes to be shown. As for the social system, a legal and penal code is used , the purpose of these is to maintain order in coexistence.


What is the code in communication? 

A code is related to all the elements that characterize the communication system , without its use this interaction could not be carried out. When a message is transmitted, it must be deciphered by implementing a common code, in this way both parties can fully communicate.

Perhaps the most common example is the verbal language, to this belong several languages ​​that share similarities but there are also differences. There are several kinds of communication in which it can be identified that a particular code is being used, for example Morse code.

It must also be considered that this may be a set of systematized rules , according to how they are ordered and presented, a message will be sent. There is the case of the use of a civil code and the penal code in each nation.

There is a great variety that are used today. Not only is it a language that has its own encoding, multiple resources can also be used .

In the case of Morse code , it requires equipment designed for this communication, the braille system also requires specialized equipment to be able to make prints by creating reliefs on any surface. Sign language is based on gestures, it has notably improved communication between people who have hearing difficulties.

Features and examples

It shows a series of characteristics that are maintained, regardless of the type of communication that is being generated. This means that despite using a different code in each case, a set of common elements can be identified. The following describes the characteristics of a code:

  • They are always accompanied by others to reinforce the process of transmitting a message. That is, several codes can be used that together contribute to making the reading of said message easier. For example, written linguistic codes show greater expressiveness when using resources applied to discourse.
  • Several coding elements can be combined, the result of which depends on the application of certain rules . Human languages ​​show the use of different sound, written and gestural units; therefore the use of a code is more complex than it seems. For example, it can be seen in a conversation in which not only resources are combined, but also gestures.
  • It depends on the understanding on the part of those who exchange information, it is necessary to know what are the different meanings assigned to each of the elements. For example, when you are making an interaction through text messages, you should be aware of the rules that apply to the use of emojis.
  • The codes are not only linguistic or sound, mimicry , body movements, intonation and the use of visual or tactile resources are also integrated . For example, traffic prosecutors during their workday combine all of these resources to guide drivers.
  • A code must always establish an organization of all signs or symbols. Each one will have functional autonomy with respect to language. For example, Morse code establishes a specific order for the various combinations of dashes and dots. In this way there is a recoding or substitution of the signs, assigning them a meaning.
  • Codes can express relationships such as social, aesthetic, courtesy, logical, and more. For example, criminals dictate legal norms that must be followed by all equally.


As explained previously, a code can be of any type; the main characteristics are taken into consideration for the classification. That is, depending on their participation in a communicative process , certain rules are used that facilitate their understanding . The classification is described below:

  • The binary code is characterized by being constituted by a combination of two elements. The most common example is the one used in computing, computers handle a series of codes expressed in the numbers 0 and 1. Thus it is possible to transmit information.
  • The genetic code in biology applies to the coding that shows the biological information that any organism possesses. Studies have shown that unique and unrepeatable genetic information is stored, this is how it has been possible to identify the members of the same family for several generations.
  • The barcode applies to the economy sector, it is recognized by its symbolism in the form of consecutive vertical lines. Depending on their distribution, specific information can be identified. Products are usually marked in this way to be able to automatically determine their content and price, this is done by means of an optical reading.
  • The postal code is used worldwide, for its understanding you must know how to interpret how the combination of numbers works. A specific representation is assigned for each city or town, the postal zones are identified by these codes for receiving mail.
  • The linguistic code integrates the entire set of signs or languages ​​that are part of the functioning of both oral and written language. Both types of linguistic codes are combined because they express the same ideas in different formats supporting each other.
  • The visual code is used in communication that is based on the exchange of images. A good example of this type is found in advertising, its operation is simple and depends on the view. The receiver should carefully observe the message shown in an image.
  • The gestural code is used to communicate through body movements. Its use is very common on a daily basis, this is because it is normal to combine verbal language with gestures with the movements of the hands. A good example is the gesture of saying hello.
  • The acoustic code is a non-linguistic auditory type. It is usually used in combination with resources such as musical instruments or emitting sounds using any physical resource. An example is when the bells of a church ring announcing the beginning of a ceremony.
  • The extralinguistic code has a more complex operation, although a written or verbal language is not used; It depends on the sensory organs of perception to send the captured information to the brain. Examples of this type are all external noises that indicate what actions are taking place, such as traffic that announces how vehicular traffic is generated.

It is important to study how codes work in human communication because they help establish systems that are recognizable to everyone. In this way, all signs facilitate the information transmission process . But we must also consider that the creation of a system is born from a complex creative process.

 | Website

Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *