One of those pinball conversations in the lunch room today. It concerned a particular subset of texting etiquette, the inclusion of typographical kisses.

Someone had received a text from a builder, regarding a job of work. It concluded “[name of builder] X” We all agreed that this was perhaps de trop, an over-familiarity in a business relationship.
(Having said that, I think it appropriate to add that the world needs more affection in it, and if the casual use of letters as a kind of punctuation substitute is the start of a slippery slope to lovin’ all god’s creatures, it’s the sort of behaviour to be encouraged.)

But with regard to yer everyday texting, basically, context is everything, of course, as usual. So, no kisses from tradesfolk setting up an appointment for an actual job of work. With friends, lovers, even, there is perhaps no need to end every text with an ‘x’ as it devalues the exchange.
“You wouldn’t end every sentence with a kiss if you were just conversing.”
“Ah, well, that depends on where and to whom you’re talking.”

An interesting point. A simple “x” or “x-space-x” was seen as acceptable as a conclusion for text chats with partners or those you love. More than five is perhaps a bit keen. The discussion ranged further afield, with considerations of the use of upper case included. The same colleague with the workman issue offered by contrast the example of their partner, who was anti ‘kiss’ in all circumstances. This set the banter in the predominantly female space of the lunch room veering into quite raucous territory.

“What about XXXX? You could be taken to be really saying something appalling. Is that just me?”
“XXX has different connotations. Even worse – or better!” 
“XXXX just makes me think of beer. My partner’s an alcoholic. I send him an XB… That was a joke… I don’t text him…”

And so on for happy minutes until it was time once more for work.
x x

Well, this was great fun.

Yesterday, the Metro ran a text-in poll…

…let’s just skip over the fact that that the Metro is not only a terrible (news-) free tabloid but also made by Northcliffe Press, friends of the right since the infamous “Hurrah for the Blackshirts!” headline of 1934…

which looked like this:


The question, “Does the BNP’s Euro election success signal a move to the…”, typo which it must have been, looks as though the Metro was inadvertently inviting the reader to fill in the gap.

Presumably the word was ‘right’, as in wing, as in political sentiment, but perhaps the implication that ‘right’ might somehow mean ‘correct’ or ‘seemly’ was too much, even for a sub-ed at the Metro.

What else might they have meant?

“Does the BNP’s Euro election success signal a move to the…

…grim future of a country run by neo Nazis?”

…acceptance of the sorry world view of genetic nostalgists?”

… happy dawn of yids, coons, gyppoes & faggots in stripey pyjamas?”

… fantasy world of a group of delusional idiots led by a Cambridge graduate longing for their fag, their teddy and a forever green homeland uncomplicated by the consequences of Empire?”

Maybe they were hoping for something more pithy… like:

“Does the BNP’s Euro election success signal a move to the…


… 1930s?”


Perhaps we’ll never know.