How ‘X’ became the universal symbol for a kiss

Reposted from mashable.com

Kiss

IMAGE: LUKE LEONARD/MASHABLE

You’ve certainly seen it at least once today, if not actually used it yourself. The “X” as a universal symbol for a kiss is firmly rooted in our lexicon. It’s become so familiar that we barely think about it, but how did this letter become shorthand for a sign of affection? We take a look at why X’s equal kisses, and ponder whether they still will in the future.

History and theories

The Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of the modern alphabet’s 24th letter says the X can be “used to represent a kiss, esp. in the subscription to a letter.” But it’s not just letters or notes anymore. We sign off our text messages, emails, and even comments on social sites with X’s.

Oxford’s earliest written reference of the X used as a kiss dates back to 1763, in a letter from the naturalist Gilbert White. In 1894, Winston Churchill also sent kisses in a letter: “Please excuse bad writing as I am in an awful hurry. (Many kisses.) xxx WSC.”

There are many theories as to how this came to be. One visual theory holds that an X looks like puckered lips.

We cut to the chase and asked Marcel Danesi, professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto and author of The History of the Kiss! The Birth of Popular Culture, about his take on the tradition.

“The X has always been a Christian symbol, and it is the first Greek letter in the name of ‘Christ,'” Danesi says. “As far as I can tell, official letters in the medieval period and even after were literally sealed with the X — sealed with a kiss of faith, I guess.”

Danesi also explains that illiterate people used the X to sign documents. It was customary for them to plant a physical kiss on the X.

“From this domain, the X jumped into another domain, also to signify kissing but a different kind of kissing — romantic, rather than religious. At some point, this became a symbolic practice among everyone,” he says.

This shift from religious to secular meaning seems to parallel the shift to secularism in the Renaissance. Danesi is quick to say that this is all speculative. “But if you look at the historical documents, it seems like a plausible scenario,” he says.

So if X means “kiss,” why does O mean “hug”? Said to be a North American invention, this seems to have a relatively simple reason. X’s and O’s go together (as in tic-tac-toe or naughts and crosses) and an O looks like circled arms creating a hug.

The future

There is no doubt the X is still being used today as the symbol for a kiss — or more loosely, affection — but will the cool kids of 2115 still be signing off their holographic texts with an X?

As software and mobile platforms get increasingly better at presenting graphics, emoticons and emoji have become more and more popular. There are a wealth of fun options available to anyone on iOS, for example, to represent a kiss.

And this may be the problem. There isn’t one clear contender for the most commonly used icon to take the place of an X — nothing as instantly recognizable, or so beautifully simple as a good, old-fashioned X.

But the X has represented a kiss on paper, and now on screens, for centuries. It’s not going to be edged out by an upstart emoticon any time soon.

Glitter & Glitz in the UK’s Northeast

 Written by Laura Ferry, curator and writer of WhatLauraLoves

Ladies and gents, if you haven’t sorted out your plans for a loved up Valentines Day, then look no further than Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel.

The day of love has conveniently fallen on a Saturday this year, and with many of us off work for the weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to escape our everyday lives for a night of luxury at a top city centre hotel.

Arrive at the hotel for your overnight stay as part of the Loved Up Experience and be greeted by a beautiful single stem red rose and a bottle of Moet Champagne, waiting patiently in your King Room for your arrival.

Feast on a luxurious box of chocolates from exclusive chocolatier Hotel Chocolat as you plan how you’re going to spend your £50 Eldon Square shopping voucher after your full English breakfast the next day.

I was lucky enough to preview one of the rooms and let me tell you, they’re beautiful, especially when the scene was set with a gorgeous dress and accessories from local designer boutique, Love Niche.

With large windows letting an abundance of light flood into the room, crisp white premium bedding and a bright, spacious bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and complimentry designer toiletries, I couldn’t help but beam when walking into the room. If my husband treated me to this Valentines Day package, I would certainly feel like a princess.

What is really unique about Sandman Signature Newcastle Hotel is that over 50% of the rooms have fitted kitchens and the ones that don’t still have a microwave, fridge, wine glasses and tea and coffee making facilities.

The hotel offers a unique service at no extra cost where you can tell them the foods that you would like and they will pop to Waitrose and have them waiting for you in your in-room fridge. What a fabulous idea; why pay a small fortune for a bottle of wine in a hotel bar when you can have your favourite brand chilling for you in your room? This also gives you the option of cooking for your other half this Valentine’s Day or taking them out for a meal to one of the many fabulous restaurants in Newcastle if you want a night away from the stove.

With busy lives, many of us don’t have the time to organise a luxurious romantic getaway but with this Valentine’s Day Package, all you need to do is make a quick phone call to the hotel and the rest will be taken care of for you.

I’m sure you’re wondering how much a night of luxury costs at the Sandman Hotel? Much, much lower than I thought that’s for sure. Most hotels seem to inflate their prices spectacularly for February 14th but not the Sandman, as their Valentine’s Day Package provides very good value for money. Last week, we stayed at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester where the breakfast alone, for two plus tray charge, came to an eye watering £48.90.

You can spoil your loved one with rates starting from only £219 for a King Room and upgrades to suites are available for only a small amount more. I’m sure you’ll agree that you’ll be getting a night of splendour at an affordable price in a hotel that’s conveniently located in the heart of Newcastle.

Call the hotel on 0191 229 2600 to book and let your Valentine’s Day be the best one ever!

Love is in the air And it smells romantic!

love_124610029 quote

Valentine’s Day = Love & Romance.

Every February, across the world, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones all in the name of romance.

Roses
The rose, which is undoubtedly the most popular flower in the world, speaks of love and has been the choice of lovers in every century. If you rearrange the letters of the word rose you get Eros, the god of Love.

Cupidcupid
Cupid was one of the gods of mythology. In Latin, the word Cupid means “desire”. Cupid is typically represented as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile. He possessed a bow with a quiver of arrows by which he transfixed the hearts of youths and maidens. Cherubs are descendants of Cupid. They are depicted as lovable little winged creatures without arrows and quivers. Cherubs were typically not mischievous like Cupid.

Dinner and a movie are nice, but why not step it up? February 14th is the perfect excuse to go all out for a loved one and do something you normally wouldn’t do.


love_114016054Sparkling, wine, chocolates, breakfast in bed… No matter where you are in Canada, Sandman has the perfect, romantic packages to spoil your loved one.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary Airport has an ideal romantic weekend getaway for you and your significant other. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations
  • $30 gift card to Moxie’s Grill & Bar
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Late (2 pm) check-out

Celebrate love at Sandman Hotel Langley this Valentine’s Day with the ideal romantic getaway. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in an Executive Queen Suite
  • A dozen roses
  • $10 gift voucher to Denny’s per night
  • A bottle of sparkling wine

Sandman Signature Langley Hotel would like to make this Valentine’s Day your best one yet. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in the Executive Jacuzzi Suite
  • Sparkling wine
  • A dozen flowers
  • Chocolates

Every day is Valentine’s Day at Sandman Hotel Penticton. With beautiful surroundings and an array of activities, we know you will create unforgettable, romantic memories. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Chocolate covered strawberries

Book Sandman Signature Prince George Hotel‘s Romance Package and let us take care of the details. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in the Honeymoon or Executive Jacuzzi Suite
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • A dozen roses
  • A box of chocolates

Everyone deserves a special Valentine’s Day which is why Sandman Hotel Saskatoon is offering two amazing packages, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Package 1

  • A box of chocolates
  • $50 gift card to Shark Club Bar & Grill
  • Complimentary upgrade to the next best room type

Package 2

  • $40 Denny’s gift card
  • Kids amenities (chocolates, chips, and candy)
  • Complimentary upgrade to the next best room type

Sandman Signature Toronto Airport Hotel would like to present you with the ideal romantic getaway for you and your significant other. Each Romance Package includes:

  • Accommodations in one of our romantic Signature Suites
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Breakfast in bed

Enjoy a night of decadence in a Penthouse Suite at Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport Hotel & Resort. Each Romance Package includes:

  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • $20 gift certificate to Chop Steakhouse & Bar

love_151436003

Roses and candy and love.. Oh my! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Heart of RosesLove: it’s something we all crave. We are wired to not just need it but to want it too.

The English language only has one word assigned to convey multiple meanings of love. We use “I love you” with family, friends, and with the person we are in a relationship with.

It’s easy to understand what love for family means. The bond created by blood is intense and can never be broken.

It’s also easy to understand what love for friends means. This is a love that you choose to give. It is when you are so close with your friend you view them as if they are part of your family. You have an emotional connection with that person and you never see them not being part of your life.

But what does it mean when you tell your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or partner that you love them? And more specifically, what does it mean to be in love? Clearly there is a difference between the two as we have all heard people say that they love someone but aren’t in love with them.

Instead of trying to figure out the meaning of love, we decided to let these adorable children explain it.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Romance. Love. Passion. Valentine’s Day is Back!

love_92877334“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~Judy Garland

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~Charles M. Schulz

“There’s a long life ahead of you and it’s going to be beautiful, as long as you keep loving and hugging each other.” ~Yoko Ono

“I love romance. I’m a sucker for it. I love it so much. It’s pathetic.” ~Drew Barrymore

“I like perfume and flowers.” ~Donatella Versace

february 14_93828682Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and whether you’re looking to spend quality time with your loved one, romance them, or both, Sandman Hotel Group has you covered. Give the perfect gift of a Sandman stay this February 14th.

A few of our hotels in British Columbia have embraced romance and assembled a variety of packages to suit every couple’s needs.

Sandman Suites Vancouver – Davie Street

Grab your loved one and spend Valentine’s in one of the amazing suites overlooking Vancouver.

Choose from one of two packages and create a night (or nights) to remember.

The Experience Package includes: a night’s accommodation in a one-bedroom suite, sparkling wine on ice in your room upon arrival, chocolate covered strawberries, rose petals scattered on your bed, breakfast for two at Moxie’s, and free parking.

The Valentine’s Indulgence Package includes: a night’s accommodation in a one-bedroom Jacuzzi suite on the penthouse floor, sparkling wine on ice in your room upon arrival, chocolate covered strawberries, an edible bouquet in a keepsake container, LUSH bath bomb and bubble bar, floating candles in your Jacuzzi tub, breakfast for two at Moxie’s, and free parking.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna

Treat your sweetheart to a Valentine’s weekend to remember. Indulge your passionate side with a night of decadence, sparkling wine and roses upon arrival, $100 Chop Steakhouse & Bar, and memories to last a lifetime.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Squamish

love_129289046Every day is Valentine’s Day in Squamish . With beautiful surroundings and an array of activities, all you have to do is add elegance and indulgence to your getaway. Spend a beautiful night in the mountains with a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolates, a rose on arrival, complimentary early check-in of 1pm and late check-out of 1pm, and complimentary upgrade to the next best room upon check-in (based on availability).

But BC is not the only province that knows how to spoil a loved one. Numerous Sandmans in Alberta have created beautiful packages sure to please your significant other.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary West

The perfect getaway gift for you and your sweetheart awaits you. We’ll make sure you experience pure romance from start to finish! Treat your significant other to a romantic night away from home with our complete Romance Package, including a bottle of sparkling wine, a box of chocolates, and 2 – $10 Denny’s gift cards.

Sandman Hotel & Suites Calgary South

Treat your sweetheart to a romantic Valentine’s weekend away from home with our complete Valentine’s Packages. Simply book before February 7, 2014 and choose between our 3 offers:

chocolate_strawberry_93030673Package A: 1 Night Stay

  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine
  • chocolate covered strawberries
  • 1 $30 gift card to Denny’s

Package B: 2 Night Stay

  • Everything from Package A AND
  • 1 $75 gift card to Chinook Mall
  • 1 $30 gift card to Moxie’s Grill & Bar

Package C: 3 Night Stay

  • Everything from Package A & B AND
  • 25% off your 3rd night
  • 1 $30 gift card to Denny’s

No matter where you are or what you’re looking for, Sandman has the perfect amount of romance for you.

Rose Petals of Love