Friday, November 16, 2012

I don't think that means...

If you did not automatically finish the rest of the sentence in my title then you have clearly not watched The Princess Bride enough times. I suggest you do something about that.
 Now on to the actual post.
A trend has been going around the middle school that really has Nix bugged. It is a silly little hand signal that the populars are throwing out in the hallways and pictures. She really just wanted to know what it meant. Because I did not have a very nice track record with middle school girls myself, I was a bit harsh and suggested she google "pathetic white girls trying to look cool throwing gang signs". Interestingly enough, that search resulted in the answer.
(my deepest apologies, but I thought an example was needed)

The girls think it means "what up". However, that is not what the international community sees it as. What use to be a "V for victory" and then became the "peace" sign, when done with the back of your hand facing out is actually pretty close to giving someone the middle finger in the UK, a few of it's former lands, and Italy. I personally found it an interesting story. The Brits were at war with the French (as usual in that day) and were using longbow men kind of sniper style. The French said that they were going to march in and cut their fingers off so they could no longer pull back a bow. The British started showing French their fingers backhanded as a niner-niner . There are more colorful ways of putting it, but I think you get my drift.
Now the girls at the school have added having their thumb out as they put up the backwards peace. Having grown up in the 'hood (Jackson folks may insert a laugh here, GA peeps- really compared to here it was rough) I was taught to never flash a sign you didn't know the meaning of. You might be singing "C is for Cookie", but to a gang member you are showing support for the Crips, and that is just not smart. So, know your signs or keep your hands in your pockets. The sign they are throwing is known as the sign for the Vice Lords, a nasty little latin gang that I don't think they actually want to be affiliated with.
The other reason you don't just randomly pick gestures is because there is a little thing called sign language. They have named pretty much every regular gesture out there. They are lucky with this one because it just means "3" sideways. (maybe their maturity level?) I have a friend who had a sign her family used for "bathroom" that turned out to mean something I can't even type without blushing.
I have told Nix that she should use her judgement as to if this is a trend she wanted to participate in or not, and that I appreciate her wisdom in seeking a meaning before joining in. It is probably safe to assume that much like her choice in not displaying the symbol of Nuclear Disarmament, she will not be throwing out any signs any time soon.
Lynn- shooting down seemingly harmless teenage trends and raising a kid who questions the origins of everything.

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