Monday, 7 October 2019

Sealed with a kiss


Hello there. Faberoony show in Birmingham, but am flagging so a quick one from me today!

Friend E and I went to a fascinating free talk entitled " The ritual protection of Sussex" a couple of weeks ago. It's just not cricket to repeat the content here, but one question the speaker posed is why do we sign off with xxx meaning kisses and when did all this begin. I suppose for me it's a learnt behaviour and apparently we all have slightly different rules for how we use them. For me they represent love and I will only use them for those who are dear to me. However, these days with the increasing use of technology based communication, it seems they are sprinkled about far more liberally. I get sent kisses from people I don't know quite often [not a problem] and they seem now to be used to indicate friendliness of intention in the communication aswell as representing emotion.

What we do know is that the naturalist Gilbert White is the first documented person to use xxx in its modern understood form in 1763. How it started is not so clear. X was used to "sign" official documents for those who couldn't write, but it's also the first Greek letter in Christ's name. Medieval letters were actually sealed with an X....so really sealed with a kiss and perhaps this became a way of sending a Christian blessing to the recipient. Maybe this has evolved over time into the secularised version we use today. We shall probably never know for sure.

Arilx

8 comments:

  1. That's interesting information, Aril. I always sign letters, cards and texts with xxx to family and close friends.

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    Replies
    1. I suspect it's something we barely notice let alone think about. I certainly hadn't until the speaker brought it up!
      Arilx

      Delete
  2. You've got me all paranoid now, lol. I always end my comments with one x.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You just carry on! We all operate differently...how boring it would be if we all did the same thing and thought the same way!
      Arilx

      Delete
  3. I have been known to automatically sign off and send an email or text as kx (then realised that the person I am sending it to probably I in reality would not kiss.....) Like texting the chairman of our local trustees or the primary school head - then I squirm somewhat when I see them next. My, not entirely intended, intention of being the local eccentric seems to have blossomed somewhat... kx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think we all do it. My clients quite often send me kisses.
      Arilx

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  4. That is definitely me to everyone. Trouble is I do it so often if I forget my son sends me a message asking if I'm cross with him! I even have to stop myself adding them on the end of a letter to the bank! xx

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    Replies
    1. It's so common these days that I think most of us don't really notice them anymore.
      Arilx

      Delete

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