'xxx' in messages

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When you use 'x' or 'xxx' in emails/texts, what might you intend it to mean?

Nothing - it's just part of how I sign my name in an informal context (I'm female)
2
1%
Just being friendly (female)
3
2%
As a sign of especially close friendship or familial bond (female)
6
3%
As a mark of celebration, sympathy or gratitude (female)
2
1%
As a mild form of flirting (female)
3
2%
I'd kiss the recipient on the lips in real life if I got the chance (female)
5
3%
Something else entirely (female)
4
2%
I would almost never use it (female)
24
12%
Nothing - it's just part of how I sign my name in an informal context (I'm not female)
2
1%
Just being friendly (not female)
4
2%
As a sign of especially close friendship or familial bond (not female)
15
8%
As a mark of celebration, sympathy or gratitude (not female)
2
1%
As a mild form of flirting (not female)
19
10%
I'd kiss the recipient on the lips in real life if I got the chance (not female)
22
11%
Something else entirely (not female)
9
5%
I would almost never use it (not female)
72
37%
 
Total votes: 194

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'xxx' in messages

Postby Incompetent » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:03 am UTC

Sometimes people write 'x' or 'xxx' in messages. I usually read these as 'kiss' or 'kisses', but I'm sure they are more widely handed out than real-life kisses (apart from in routine greetings). They're also stereotypically used mainly by females, but I wonder how true this is in practice. So: when *you* write 'x' or 'xxx', how significant is it, and what do you intend it to mean?

Sorry if this has been polled before; I did a search first and didn't find much.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Cecily » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:16 am UTC

I'm curious that the questions are divided into "female" and "not female" respondents. I realise there are transsexuals and people with intersex conditions, but I don't think I've ever noticed the distinction made that way before.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby blaze790 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:35 am UTC

Although I'm a male (not female, lol) and could be wrong, I think that it's a way of showing to the world that the poster is a happy , open and sociable person. I don't think that the person who writes xxx on forums also automatically kisses people on the street when they meet them.

Have a great day!

xxx ;)

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:45 am UTC

This is an interesting poll.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby icanus » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:51 am UTC

Male, pretty much never use "x" (except occasionally in birthday cards, but even then I tend not to unless I'm signing it along with someone else who's already put an x and don't want to appear distant in comparison).

Like David, I prefer to do all my kissing live.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:00 am UTC

I'll use it in a mildly flirtatious context; and it's generally successfully understood as such, because all of my texts and emails are usually rather short and to the point, thus the adornment is unusual.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Incompetent » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:25 am UTC

Cecily wrote:I'm curious that the questions are divided into "female" and "not female" respondents. I realise there are transsexuals and people with intersex conditions, but I don't think I've ever noticed the distinction made that way before.


I don't want to exclude people who identify as neither female nor male. I would have put 'female', 'male' and 'other', but the poll was getting long enough as it is. Of course, the poll could still run afoul of people who don't approve of the Law of the Excluded Middle.

@icanus: lol @ David Mitchell. Before I clicked the link, I thought it was going to be one of his monologues about how he disapproves of the overuse of 'xxx'.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby GraphiteGirl » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:36 am UTC

I rarely use it, though some of my (female) friends do, as a friendly and/or flirtatious sign off. I tend only to use it if my friend has used it in a message to me, in the same way that you echo someone else's goodbye line, or kiss someone else on the cheek if they move in to do it to me. (If I actually want to indicate a romantic kiss, I write *kiss*. One boyfriend used to sign off with xoxo, and I sort of took up the habit, but I never liked it that much, so I never did it with any subsequent beau or potential beau.)
Last edited by GraphiteGirl on Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:43 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:38 am UTC

Isn't the cheek thing an 'air' kiss?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby GraphiteGirl » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:42 am UTC

Sometimes; sometimes it's an actual cheek kiss. I used to find them a little irritating, along with 'hello' hugs from people I'd seen as recently as yesterday. I'm learning to like them more, perhaps because I like the people who do them more now. Still prefer a bear hug from a close friend though, and not much contact at all from a non-close friend.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bbq » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:42 pm UTC

I'm a teenager, so mine might vary from yours.

Its more just a way of showing how affectionate you are for someone.. Most people get an x, or xx. If they are a good friend they get xxx. If it is someone I am after, they get 4 or 5 (obviously only if its reciprocal). Most people do it my age, so you look like a bit of a turd if you don't. Plus its a good way of gauging whether someones in a mood with you- tone of voice can be hard to get in a text, but if someone doesn't put their xx's you know you've done something wrong :P
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby TimelordSimone » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:07 pm UTC

I'm not sure what answer to put.
I put one x most of the time on the end of messages, to most people. It is just how I am.
But if I put more, that is generally more significant.

EDIT: Discovered I could choose more than one answer. I'm so smart!
Last edited by TimelordSimone on Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:20 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby themonk » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:49 pm UTC

I find it more with my British/Scottish friends more than my American friends.

They usually write it for most of their friends (non- and female).
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby podbaydoor » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

I've never used it, but I generally read it based on the context of the message and my relationship to the recipient. If it's an SO, I read it as kisses, if it's not an SO, I read it as mildly flirtatious or non-flirtatious air-kisses or something like that.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Aaeriele » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

I use xoxo or the like in SMS if I'm having to type on a digit-pad, since it's a lot easier to type than, say, "i love you" or "*kiss*" if I'm texting someone I want to add on some affection for.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby modularblues » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:44 pm UTC

XD... hmm, I guess that doesn't count because it's not "x" by itself huh.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby sje46 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

I'm not sure I've ever seen XXX used that way. To me, it means "PORN". Usually of the hardcore variety.

I do, however, see XOXOXO a lot. This means "kiss hug kiss hug kiss hug" and me and my siblings used to write these a lot in cards. It's kinda a feminine thing though, and common in girl's AIM screen names. Usually girls of the high school variety.

Maybe I have seen XXX or X used before in this way, but it's never stuck out. Is this a European thing, or something?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby keozen » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:51 pm UTC

Usually use it to be flirty.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Shivahn » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:05 pm UTC

Incompetent wrote:Sometimes people write 'x' or 'xxx' in messages. I usually read these as 'kiss' or 'kisses', but I'm sure they are more widely handed out than real-life kisses (apart from in routine greetings). They're also stereotypically used mainly by females, but I wonder how true this is in practice. So: when *you* write 'x' or 'xxx', how significant is it, and what do you intend it to mean?

Sorry if this has been polled before; I did a search first and didn't find much.


Well, when I write 'x' it usually means that the word has an "eks" sound in it.

It is very significant.

Seriously, though, I never use it and I don't think I've ever seen it used except in cartoons and such.

Cecily wrote:I'm curious that the questions are divided into "female" and "not female" respondents. I realise there are transsexuals and people with intersex conditions, but I don't think I've ever noticed the distinction made that way before.


Transsexuals generally fall into female or male categories. I'm sure there are some people who transition who are third gender/genderqueer, but I doubt it's any sort of majority.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:17 pm UTC

The use of 'female' and either 'not female' or 'male' can be defended since it's a socialised trait, the biggest influence on pieces of custom like this is culture.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby You, sir, name? » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

I would guess that they wish to indicate that they have a third X-chromosome.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby apricity » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:05 am UTC

The only times I've ever written it were to my ex, and that was really only because he wrote it so I sort of picked up the habit. In my mind it definitely means real kisses, because I wouldn't ever write it to someone without it meaning kisses. But I know some girls who write it everyone, and come to think of it I think my ex wrote it to other people too, so it's not always strictly kisses.

Edit: Oh, and my ex was British, and he and his friends definitely did it a whole lot more than I ever saw with my American friends.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby scienceroboticspunk » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:22 am UTC

(not female)
I use x as a way of saying ex-girlfriend
xx as in straight edge
xxx hardcore porn
I never met anyone that used it in other senses, xo or xoxo means kisses in my opinion.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby TimelordSimone » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:38 am UTC

So this is a lot less common than I would have presumed?
An awful lot of people I know end most every message with an x.
Perhaps it is, as others have speculated, just more common on this side of the pond...
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Klye » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:49 am UTC

I'm 'not female' and use x when 'I'd kiss the recipient on the lips in real life if I got the chance'.

scienceroboticspunk wrote:I never met anyone that used it in other senses, xo or xoxo means kisses in my opinion.

I've always been under the impression o was hug, as in xoxo would be hugs and kisses.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby ^_^ » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Female, and never really use it. But then, I'm more one of those un-affectionate, just in it for the lolz kinda friends =P
However, if a good (female) friend types it at the end of messages to me, I will also do so. Or a male I'm interested in... mainly only if they do it first though, once again =P

Alot of people seem to just view it as a way of finishing messages though :roll: Like, instead of writing 'From _____', or just letting the message trail off.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby tastelikecoke » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:06 am UTC

I don't understand why people write xxx or x in any way. I have only seen 'xxx' in a poor subtitle.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Fractal_Tangent » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:00 am UTC

I don't really get it, I mean, I tried to put a single 'x' at the end of my texts and then got bored of it. I can't generally remember to anyway and why put kisses on the end of your texts if you don't mean to kiss them?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Moo » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:10 am UTC

On the odd occasion that I do use it, and the many occassions that I use *hug*, I do not necessarily mean I'd kiss/hug the person right now if I could (although I do mean that sometimes). Thing is, text only is a hard medium to convey non-verbal communication with. For example, if I want to put a particularly sympathetic context to a message I can't pull my face and soften my voice the way I can irl. But if I put *hug* I can use that to convey that I am attempting to connect on a slightly more close level than just a casual chat.

TL;DR - putting "xxx" probably conveys fondness far more often than actual kisses in my experience.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Zohar » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:19 am UTC

I feel weird about online hugs. I don't feel sincere giving or receiving them.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Cheese » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:18 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I feel weird about online hugs. I don't feel sincere giving or receiving them.
Aye, I often feel a bit awkward throwing a *hugs* at someone that I doubt I'll ever see to be able to give a physical hug (though if it's said someone I will be seeing in the meatspace soon enough and can properly hug this doesn't usually bother me).

The kisses thing... I can't stand it, for the most part. Overuse devalues it, makes it seem like the done thing, so that it's nothing special to receive it. It gets tagged on the end of some texts to the SO (or maybe <3 &c) but most are without it. And I'm likely to use it at the end of an email or IM conversation to the aforementioned SO. Apart from that, I'm not likely to initiate the use of it - and have managed to stop automatically throwing it on the end of an SMS reply when the sender gave an x or two at the end of theirs. Why waste characters on something that means almost nothing to me, and which the other(s) involved in the conversation will most likely not be paying attention to either?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:48 am UTC

Do you often send messages of 157-160 characters, such that an insertion of one or two x characters would cause you to pay more? Otherwise, how is it a waste of characters?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:29 pm UTC

Cheese wrote:
Zohar wrote:I feel weird about online hugs. I don't feel sincere giving or receiving them.
Aye, I often feel a bit awkward throwing a *hugs* at someone that I doubt I'll ever see to be able to give a physical hug (though if it's said someone I will be seeing in the meatspace soon enough and can properly hug this doesn't usually bother me).

I'm with your here, generally the only time I'll dole out *hugs* is the the couple of friends who I do actually hug and or cuddle. I will occasionally use the *hugs* tag on here if I think it's valid.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Enuja » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:41 pm UTC

This is the first time I've heard of x or xxx meaning kisses or going at the end of a message of any kind. So, obviously, I don't use it. I am familiar with XOXOXO (hugs and kisses - can go on for any length) but if I've ever used that shorthand, it hasn't been in the last 15 years. I don't do text messages, and I don't have a lot of friends from Europe (where this thread is telling me that this novel form of kisses only shorthand of XOXO is popular).

On *hugs*: I don't actually use it as often as I'd like. I also don't hug people IRL as often as I wish I did. Whenever someone needs comfort, as long as it would actually comfort them, and not discomfort me, I want to be able to hug them IRL. That includes wanting to be able to hug people the first time we meet, as long as we got along well and would both be comfortable with a hug. Since a lot of my online discussion is about important, personal things, I'd absolutely be extremely interested in hugging these people IRL. I remember, when I was kid trying to decide what career to get into, I considered being a therapist, but decided that that was a bad idea because I just want to hug everybody to make them feel better. And therapists don't get to do that. All that was just to convince all readers that yes, if I say *hugs* here, I would hug you in real life. Unfortunately *hugs* doesn't fit very well in grammar and sentence structure,* I don't have the body language of the other poster to see if they would want a hug, it doesn't always look sincere, and I know that not all people are comforted by hugs ... so I often hold myself back and don't offer online *hugs*.



*While *hugs* looks awkward in my posts with complete sentences and real paragraphs, it works very well in chat, where each action gets its own line, and back when I used to spend a lot of time on ICQ and AIM, I used *hugs* and other actions surrounded by asterisks very often.

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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby sje46 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:53 pm UTC

I've probably wrote *hugs* or /me hugs more than anyone else in the entire world.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:54 pm UTC

So, in conclusion, it's much more common in the British Empire-parts of the world?
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby felltir » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:56 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:I've probably wrote *hugs* or /me hugs more than anyone else in the entire world.


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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby DSenette » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:05 pm UTC

typically when i see "xxx" anywhere in an email, it means that one of my porn subscriptions is coming up for renewal.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Cheese » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Do you often send messages of 157-160 characters, such that an insertion of one or two x characters would cause you to pay more? Otherwise, how is it a waste of characters?
I did at one point limit myself to one-text messages, so it'd not fit even after I condensed down the rest. And even if it doesn't cost me more, if there's no need for them, I still see them as a waste.
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Re: 'xxx' in messages

Postby Sasha » Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:51 pm UTC

I use "x" as a variable, or "xxx" as a string of obscured text.
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