Monday, July 01, 2013

Two fingers good, one finger rather pretentious

Car A overtakes car B on the inside this morning. The driver of car B honks. The driver of car A, male, 20s, extends an arm out of the window and gives the middle finger. The driver of car B, female, 40s, gives him the traditional British two fingers in return.

I don't know why we bother borrowing American forms of abuse when our own culture is such a rich storehouse of disrespect. That single finger seems so pretentious somehow, like a DJ with a phoney American accent.


  1. Agree. When did we start saying "Hey" as an informal way of saying 'Hello" instead of "Hi" or the perfectly serviceable and proper British greeting of my youth, which was "Wotcha"

  2. Sadly it's a myth, but I've always liked the story that the V sign originated from English archers demonstrating to their enemies that they still possessed the digits required to draw their bowstrings.

    "Ahhhh, we can still kill you wankers."

  3. Agreed Simon. ''Hey'' is far too wimpish for my liking; it's timid to the point of being fearful.I blame Ross from Friends for polluting the minds of a generation for that one.

    I'm for the all encapsulating ''Alright.''

  4. Caught up with this one rather late but an obscure fact that probably only I (and now you lot) know is that the one finger gesture isn't purely an American import since it crops up in a 16th-century school play about the Prodigal Son. “Lo here to thee this middle nail, the nail of my middle finger, in token that I despise thee.” Pretty conclusive.