Be Nice

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People the world over use their fingers to communicate; mostly in rude ways. Hip teenagers and Italians couldn’t communicate if they had to wear mittens or a catcher’s glove. The problem is this “finger talk” is not universal the world over. In America the “okay” sign means everything is hunky dory, while in Germany, Russia and Brazil it’s on par with giving someone the finger. In Japan it means that you want change, preferably in coin, and in France it means that you are worthless and quite possibly a drunk. And that’s definitely not “okay!”

If you travel a wide circle you’d be well advised to keep your hands in your pockets. And don’t say anything either. I’ve previously written about the time in Australia when I asked who everyone was rooting for, not realizing that “rooting” is the “f” word down under. Many years ago American Jim Courier committed an even bigger blooper when he said of a player on worldwide television, “There’s two guys in the locker room rooting loudly for her.”


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