Friday, December 5, 2008

Media is Tagging Graffiti

In the Free Dictionary's definition of the word tagging, the first sense listed is that of: "labeling, identifying, or recognizing with, or as if with, a tag." It isn't until you continue down the list to number eight that the sense of tagging as: "marking or vandalizing (a surface) with graffiti is listed."

It is fairly well known in inner cities that marking a surface with graffiti is a way for gangs to claim/tag their territory, gain recognition and express their identity. While this sense of the word tagging is not currently listed in dictionaries, it may not be long.

Media is constantly using the word tagging when referring to the use of graffiti as a gang-identifier and by doing so media not only reinforces this use of graffiti but it also propagates it. In other words, media is labeling, identifying and recognizing graffiti as the way for a gang to claim/tag its territory, gain recognition and express its identity.

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