Is it flirtatious to sign off texts with a 'x'?

Do you think signing off texts with a ‘x’ is flirtatious or friendly? [Photo: Getty]

A judge has ruled that a woman who signed text messages with a kiss was not being “flirtatious” with her estranged husband.

The unnamed woman alleged that her partner – whom she shares a child with – was abusive towards her during their relationship and took the issue to court, according to Mail Online.

In his defence, her husband claimed that he could not have been abusive towards her, as she would “repeatedly” sign off her text messages with a “flirtatious” ‘x’ – an abbreviation for a kiss.

But judge Farooq Ahmed – who deals with private family cases in Kent and Sussex – ruled that it was merely his wife’s “way of signing off”.

In the digital era, where does a simple ‘x’ stand in regards to etiquette? [Photo: Getty]

During the private hearing, he added: “The father relies upon texts in which the mother signs off with a kiss.”

“He regards this as flirtatious and not something she would have done had she really regarded him as an abuser, I find the mother was not being flirtatious. The father is wrong to read anything into it.”

But the debate of whether or not to end a text with a ‘x’ remains divisive.

A quick scout around the Internet finds that signing off work emails with emoticons or abbreviations is largely frowned upon and one popular rule states that if wouldn’t kiss the recipient in person, then it’s best to avoid the overfamiliar texting style.

Olly Walker of leading etiquette company Debrett’s tells Yahoo UK: “Due to its symbolism as ‘a kiss’, a ‘x’ can often be associated with flirtatiousness.”

“Increasingly, it is now seen also as simply an informal way of signing off,” he continues, “If in doubt, it would be advisable to err on the side of caution and keep it between friends and family – I’d suggest the use of ‘x’s’ has no real place in a professional context, especially when emailing.”

But living in the iPhone-bearing era – whereby we quickly thumb responses to a weekend’s worth of emails on the work commute – can often leave us tempted by the splattering of digital kisses shown in predictive text.

What do you think?

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