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...A dog will scratch at a door if it wants to be let in; a cat will mew for milk; a hostess will ring a bell for the dinner plates to be cleared; the people in the apartment upstairs will band with a stick if our party is too noisy. One can fill pages with such obvious examples, not forgetting the language of flowers and dances of honey-bees, but one will always end up with human speech, and its visual records, as the most subtle, flexible, and exact system of communication the whole wide universe possesses.

About the part in red, what kind of language is that? Is that 'language of flowers' used as this kind of language below?

In the language of flowers, holly signifies a happy home.

As in the paragraph it's next to 'dances of honey-bees', it seemes to be a little more scientific...
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Go to an Ikebana exhibition. Do the flowers tell you anything? If they do, they certainly use their own language.
Marius HancuGo to an Ikebana exhibition. Do the flowers tell you anything? If they do, they certainly use their own language.
The entire text is about signals.

I thought honey-bees saw certain colors of flowers as signals that those flowers were nectar-laden.
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Yes, both phrases involve non-verbal signals.

Honeybees do special figure-of-eight "dances" at the entrance to the hive, to communicate the direction of rich food sources to other bees.

In the "language of flowers", which was very popular in the 19th century, each kind of flower was assigned a meaning, and bouquets were composed accordingly. Thus e.g. myrtle stood for "love", and chrysanthemums stood for "cheerfulness".

Have a good weekend,

MrP
MrPedanticIn the "language of flowers", which was very popular in the 19th century, each kind of flower was assigned a meaning, and bouquets were composed accordingly. Thus e.g. myrtle stood for "love", and chrysanthemums stood for "cheerfulness".
MrP, did you notice that both 'language of flowers' and 'dances of honey-bees' are within the scope of the article 'the' in front---i.e the (language of flowers and dances of honey-bees)?

As they are set that way, I don't think it that 'language' you're talking about; they are too diffefrent to be set in the same group.
I see what you mean; but is disparateness the point of the examples, I wonder?

MrP
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MrPedanticIs disparateness the point of the examples, I wonder?
Isn't it much simpler and clearer to take it as

the [language of flowers (an inducdor; a signal to bees) and dances of honey-bees (a reaction; a signal to the other bees in their hives)]

?
Well, the only problem is, "the language of flowers" is a common phrase, in the Victorian sense, and signifies a literal language; while "language of flowers" in the sense of the evolution of floral attractiveness to insects is not really heard, and would signify a metaphorical language.

So I think "language of flowers" in the Victorian sense would be the simpler option!

MrP
Well, MrP, have you ever even heard of 'the body language of trees'?

This book is dedicated to the potential hazards of trees. It shows the reader how a tree breaks, why it breaks, why perhaps it breaks too soon, and how it gives out a warning. In most cases the tree gives out a silent sign in its body language. It draws attention to many types of potential fracture points by producing symptoms.

The Body Language of Trees

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Language-Trees-Analysis-Research/dp/0117530670

There are lots of googles on the language of cats, dogs, so on and so forth.
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