Belfast Telegraph

Just one more of the little joys of text

By Gail Walker

It looks as though David Cameron is in for a highly embarrassing few days with the Leveson inquiry expected to reveal that he and former NoW editor Rebekah Brooks were in constant text contact - as much as 12 times a day.

Brooks is due to give evidence and it's confidently reported that she has kept all the texts. Worse, the texts are expected to show that they were 'X' text mates.

It is, of course, a peculiarly modern dilemma - where exactly do you draw the line when it comes to adding an x to a text?

In the old days, you never X-ed anybody except your boyfriend or girlfriend. But in these touchy feely times it's not so clear cut.

Particularly tricky is the pressure of bald texts when you're desperate for something - anything - to take the coldness out an inherently impersonal medium. A smiley face, a LOL - why not a wee XX (or xx - decisions decisions)

But still there's that wee nagging voice in the corner of our minds: an x is an x is an x ... and we all know what that means, don't we?

There are fine gradations in these things. Xs on a Christmas card don't count (though obviously Valentine's do). A leaving card for a member of the opposite sex? Mmm ... depends. Texts? Difficult ... can denote both friendship and romantic attachment. Big Xs or wee xs - they all tell a story. (Of course, Xs in a private sealed letter need no explanation).

Still, it's all rather confusing. X does - or perhaps doesn't - mark the spot.


From Belfast Telegraph