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Pointing with the middle finger

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I notice from time to time that, rather than their index finger, some people use their middle finger as a pointer. Whenever I see this, I can't help but think "Doesn't that guy know that he is flipping the bird at everyone?".

    I always wonder how anyone could not realize how this looks.

    I notice it in old movies and TV programs as well. I tend to assume that the film predates the modern use of "the bird", but really I don't know when the bird came to be.
     
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  3. Mar 30, 2009 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Sometimes my professor does that to me....:cry:
     
  4. Mar 30, 2009 #3
    A lot of people from the middle east point with their middle fingers.

    Probably because it doesn't really look bad. Unless your directly giving someone the finger, hardly anyone thinks: is that guy flipping me off?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  5. Mar 30, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    It jumps off the page for me every time. I don't think it is subject to false interpretations, but it is conspicuous.

    Course some people from the ME probably notice people showing the bottom of their feet or shoes.
     
  6. Mar 30, 2009 #5
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_(gesture [Broken])

    talks about the origin of meaning of middle finger. It has bad meaning only in western countries.

    It says showing a thumbs-up sign in Iran is equivalent to the middle finger in the western countries :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Mar 30, 2009 #6

    f95toli

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    Thumbs up also USED to be a rude gesture in Australia (not anymore).
    Also, the "OK" sign is (thumb-index finger) is still considered to be a very rude gesture in Germany.
    The meaning of gestures can vary quite a lot between countries/areas, not only between cultures.
     
  8. Mar 30, 2009 #7
    28947398_6ee999f975.jpg

    I see you germany!
     
  9. Mar 30, 2009 #8

    DaveC426913

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    I'm not sure I've seen someone point this way. Are we talking palm up or palm down?

    If palm up it would look rude (though I can't imagine how one might point at something this way, unless they were directing your attention to something on the building overhead or under the chassis of their car), if palm down that would be a weird way of pointing.
     
  10. Mar 30, 2009 #9

    Evo

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    I've seen people do this, and it is palm down. Like Ivan, it is something that you just can't miss wondering (if it is a Westerner doing it) how they don't realize the significance.
     
  11. Mar 31, 2009 #10
    I got detention in middle school long long ago for doing that. Been very careful about how I point from then on.
     
  12. Mar 31, 2009 #11
    George_Bush_Middle_Finger.jpg

    http://a.236.com/images/photo2/7053/thumbs/MIDDLEFINGAZZZZ_s1-274.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Mar 31, 2009 #12

    dx

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    My middle school math teacher used to do this.
     
  14. Mar 31, 2009 #13

    mgb_phys

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    Pretty much only in America, in the UK it's two fingers.
     
  15. Mar 31, 2009 #14

    DaveC426913

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    Now this gesture I've seen. And I've always been sure that the two-fingered gesture is simply the more "polite" modification of the one-fingered gesture.
    i.e. one-finger is to two-fingers as h*ll is to heck, and d*mn is to darn. But everyone knows what you're sayin'.
     
  16. Mar 31, 2009 #15

    mgb_phys

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    I thought the one finger one was used by Americans because it's shorter and easier to spell:wink:
     
  17. Mar 31, 2009 #16

    Monique

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    Well, the middle finger is longer so it is easier to point with. Do they point with a fist and only the middle finger pointing out? That would look weird. If all the fingers are extended I think it is fine.
     
  18. Mar 31, 2009 #17

    DaveC426913

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    Really??? Not in my books it ain't. I find it actually rather difficult to point effectively with the middle finger, whereas it is quite natural to point with the ... well .. the pointing finger.
     
  19. Mar 31, 2009 #18
    I saw someone use their tongue to point last week...I think I prefer the finger.
     
  20. Mar 31, 2009 #19

    DaveC426913

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    As far as substitutes for pointing fingers goes, it could have been worse. Muuuch worse.
     
  21. Mar 31, 2009 #20
    Practice Makes Perfect... :)
     
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