Friday, December 7, 2012

Hugs and Kisses and Correspondence

This story in The Atlantic details a practice with which I am totally unfamiliar-the appending of "xoxox" to digital correspondence, almost exclusively by women.  Apparently this is a trend that's been developing for some time, although it's used more in certain industries then in others.

Well. Since the meaning of this term is "hug and kisses" (and please note, it's apparently common enough that my Dragon voice recognition software automatically puts the letters in rather than the words), I would not recommend that you close business correspondence this way. Moreover, I would not recommend that you close any correspondence in the workplace this way, especially if you're a guy writing to a female coworker or subordinate, or vice versa. It goes without saying that you should not address your boss this way, but I would have thought it goes without saying that this is generally inappropriate in any professional communication, and I would've been wrong.

I'll leave it to the readership to figure out whether this is a passing fad or representative of some deep-seated genetic thing. My personal view is that I am not thrilled about any trend that introduces even more ambiguity into communications that are already misinterpreted enough.

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