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A set of rules, a mapping or a transformation establishing correspondences between the elements in its domain and the elements in its range or between the characters of two different alphabets. information maintaining codes establish one-to-one correspondences. Information loosing codes establish many-to-one and/or one-to-many correspondences. When a code relates a set of signs to a set of meanings by convention, a code can be seen to constitute symbols. When it maps a set of behaviors into a set of legal categories, a code can be seen to be one of law. When it accounts for the transformation of one kind or signal into another kind of signal it can be seen to describe an input-output device. When applied to linguistic expressions it is a translation. According to Webster's, "to codify" is "to reduce to a code," to systematize, to classify. Indeed, any many-to-one code defines an equivalence relation or classification of the elements in its domain. It is incorrect to call a set of signs (to which a code may apply) a code. (Krippendorff)
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