Friday, February 22, 2008

Thanks for being a friend!

My friend Gena sent me this pretty card! I'm so glad we've gotten to know each other better. I met Gena through blogs and then as we got to know each other, our daughters are the same age and they started chatting through email. It's great to have pen pals and prayer pals. We've been praying for their school principal (who was ill) and for their family for these past few months. I really feel that when the Lord is present in a relationship, it makes that bond so much stronger than those that don't. Thank you so much for the lovely card Gena! OOHugsOO
BTW...I found this online and thought I'd share it with you as I've always wondered about this.
Where did the custom of putting Xs and Os at the bottom of a letter come from?
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 X itself is very old. 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.

In "The Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten, it is noted that illiterate immigrants (or those who did not know Roman-English letters) would generally sign entry forms with an "X" but Jews preferred an "O" to avoid making something that looked like a cross. Also, shopkeepers and salesmen would similarly sign receipts with a circle. Could this be the origin of the "O"?
Or could it have developed from the game of tic tac toe, where one player uses the "X" and another the "O", leading people to think that the "O" was the hug, as the "X" is the kiss.

5 comments:

Diane said...

Lovely cards!!! Thanks for the info
of the x's and o's,I didn't know that!!!

Trina said...

What a pretty card!! You are one lucky girl, to have made so many friends through blogging!

Marjorie said...

Beautiful card! And reading about the Xs and Os was really interesting!

Michele said...

This card is gorgeous! Thanks for the info....always wondered about that!

Donelda said...

Beautiful card, I love it. And thanks for the story behind X and O's. I had never even thought of why we do it!

Donelda SBS4