“A student just asked me what “xoxo” means… How would you define it and in what context is it acceptable to use?”
I believe everyone knows “xoxo” means hugs and kisses and it is acceptable to use if you are 8, female and writing out Valentine’s Day cards to your entire class. Acceptable if you are passing a note to someone in high school in the 1980s, if you are 15, female and IM’ing or doing any kind of live chat or if you are a grandmother writing a card to a beloved granddaughter or grandson that has an anthropomorphic cat/dog/horse/rabbit on the front. Totally acceptable for Japanese girls or women dressed in the Harajuku style, particularly if they are a Goth Lolita, to use all the time. On everything.
I believe this covers all acceptable uses.
While I’m still standing up on my soapbox, I thought I would address another thing I can’t stand. The inspirational quote people include at the end of e-mails. You know, the quote beneath someone’s signature, title, address, phone, fax, cell, 5 websites, Twitter URL, Facebook URL? This quote is supposed to inspire the receiver of the message while also making the sender look evolved, well-read and somehow above the fray of living. A popular person to quote is Gandhi. I would say that 65.4% of all e-mail signature quotations are, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s to the point now that I see that quote and I just think, “Wank, wank, wank, you wanker.” And that’s horrible. I mean, Gandhi!
Here’s the one I got today:
Never be afraid to try something new.
Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
A large group of professionals built the Titanic.
WTF?? What is that supposed to mean to me? “Remember, a mythical person built a mythical boat to save the animals of the world by having two of each kind walk calmly up the gangplank and then stay on board for 40 days and 40 nights (the concept which spawned a horrible movie starring Josh Hartnet).” Never mind that if this experiment in genetics had actually happened, we would not be here today, you lose all credibility with me if you profess to believe a parable. Or if you are not able to recognize a parable as such.
And no, just because something built by a lot of people failed spectacularly in 1912, we should not all endeavor to only start things we can do alone. Like a blog!