Sunday, August 29, 2010

Don't XOXO Me

Its been a while now, since I have been receiving e-mails, and text messages, signed off with an 'XX' or an 'XO'. Being the dud that I am, I did not initially get it, and let it be thinking it is something cool, I am just not in touch with. Then I got to watching Gossip Girl, and finally got what it meant. It is a 'cool' way of saying hugs and kisses, the XOXO. OK! and so people were actually sending love across to me, all this while, but I did not get it. How good is that, it makes me wonder.

It was recently, that I realised, that some values, are eternal. They cannot be trespassed in the name of modernity, or being cool. Its a world today, where people find it acceptable to not respond to messages, even wishes for that matter, where the scandalous has become not just acceptable, but even the norm, and the worst of it being, that actually saying that, we find something unethical or immoral unacceptable, makes the person 'un'cool. And I decided, that I will no longer accept what feels wrong to me instinctively, just to be accepted in a group of people. Well, hopefully I will write a more detailed post on this some other time.

Love, I believe is the most powerful emotion in the world. Not just the kind that transcends into a physical, sexual thing, but every form of it. Between friends, parents and children, siblings, and just two human beings who feel it for each other. Hugs and kisses are an expression of that emotion. These actions and emotions are conveyed by certain words. And the association gives those words the positive power. So why then would I take away from it, in anyway at all. I don't get it. What is the thought process behind this?

I remember long back, having a discussion with a friend, regarding abusive parenting, and she had said that even the verbal abuse, name calling, was a form of the parents expressing love. I was surprised, and replied, 'For all the loving words that exist in the world, why would anyone use abusive ones, to express a so called affection. There is a reason affectionate words exist as such in the dictionary.' And I have the same reasoning here. 'Love','hugs','kisses' such beautiful words, conveying such amazing emotions, why would I replace it with symbols, which also reflect wrong(X) and nothingness(O)? Sometimes I really wonder if the world is hurtling down a black hole, just because we don't spend time to think about our actions, and just jump in, to join the bandwagon of other mindless people following someone else.

I would much rather write, and have written to me words full of emotion and affection, than symbolism, which does not make sense, and in many ways represent the exact opposite of what is intended. Send me love, hugs and kisses people, don't need cross-n-knots.

Any new trend that bothers you, makes you feel that its all wrong and senseless?


The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Hey, that's something I never thought about.. but you know, just something interesting. The 'X' is actually supposed to symbolise arms crossed to hug. And the 'O' is supposed to mean lips rounded to form a kiss. That can be cute too :)

Sraboney said...

I learn something new everyday...

I agree with you - words and sumbols of love and affection mean little today...Often people sign off with a 'Love XYZ' when you don't even know them...

Anonymous said...

Hey Passionate Goof,

I have no problems with the 'Shorthand', but I agree
with Sraboney ... Too many people use it casually without
the actual emotion behind it .... This has become just a 'Cool' way of signing off a comment/note/mail etc.

Passionate Goof said...

SAS - It is cute yes, but only when its between people who understand the significance of it. I am sure that a lot of people, who do the XX or XO, at the end of messages, would never actually write the words love, hugs or kisses, instead!

Bones - I know what you mean. Strange isn't it?

Anon - Exactly its 'cool', without any meaning at all.

Deeps said...

Hugs & Kisses to you, GM! I loved loved loved this post!

Some things are best left as they are!

Till now even I didnt know what XOXO meant and I always wondered and tried to rake up my brain cells to decode them, but never could. Thanks to your post I've cracked the code ;))

Anonymous said...

Loved this GM !! So true why do we have to create such inane shortforms just to be with it and cool.. I would rather not...some things are best left untampered...if we create a shortcut for them they lose their meaning

The Restless Quill said...

I am the first person to not use short forms but I have to tell you XXX or XOXO has been used, as far as I know, for at least 40 years. And I am saying at least. So it's not a new trend. And I totally love the use of it, although I use it sparingly and deliberately, because sometimes it's odd to say hugs. Just "hugs" about 10 times and think about it, you'll see how odd it sounds :) Or maybe I am just crazy :)

The Restless Quill said...

According to Google :)

"The first mention in literature of XXX for kisses at the bottom of a letter was in 1901, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

The custom goes back to the early Christian era, when a cross mark or "X" was the same as a sworn oath. The cross referred to the cross of Calvary and the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Xristos.

Even as little as a hundred and fifty years ago, not many people could read or write. The "X" at the bottom of a document took the place of a signature. They would kiss the "X" as a crucifix or bible was kissed to emphasize the importance of the mark. It was this practice that lead to the "X" representing a kiss.

There isn't much known about the beginnings of the "O". It is a North American custom. The "O" represents the arms in a circle around another person. Arms crossed in front of you do not mean the "X" as a hug! The "O" is the hug.

Mama - Mia said...

i have no idea really! i am pretty much write hugs n kisses, or love n hugs or just one of em kinda person! and cheers till / if i get familiar enough with the other person to use love n hugs kinda sign off!


Passionate Goof said...

Deeps - Thanks, and u r most welcome. For ages, even i did not know what it meant.

liveonimpulse - Exactly my point.

The Restless Quill - Most times, that I have seen it used, it has been used in places or by people who would not use teh words, hugs or kisses, in place of X or O. Like in a group mail, or a casual SMS. And somehow, i would rather her hugs and kisses than X n O!

Mama-Mia - I am the same, really!

June said...

It is a cultural thing.

For example, in Spanish, "un beso" ("a kiss") is often used when signing off in informal email correspondence. And according to the Oxford language dictionary, "The ending Un abrazo [a hug] is often used in business correspondence and even in internal company memos or e–mails, where a friendly relationship exists between the parties."

You cannot translate "hugs and kisses" with the same cultural significance that you're used to. XOXO doesn't imply intimacy, and is quite common.

That said, you have every right not to use it if you don't want to.

Passionate Goof said...

June - Hey! Didn't know that. Thanks for letting me know.

Chinkurli said...

Yeah, what is with this new fad? I HATE getting virtual/textual "hugs and kisses" from random people who I just met yesterday. They're probably adding the XOXOs out of force of habit. Or just to be Cool. I don't know why, but this bothers me a lot!