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  #51  
Old 02-15-2020, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
How about symbols from mathematics? Even if you exclude those found on computer keyboards (the Hindu-Arabic numerals, the equals sign, etc.), you still have things like π (pi), the infinity symbol, symbols for union and intersection, etc.
Pi is used all over math for other things than the familiar constant. Most notably for homotopy groups, where it is absolutely standard. I will grant you that union and intersection signs have no other usage--at least none I am familiar with, but they will not be widely know outside of mathematics.
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:45 PM
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I want to note that this thread is about graphic symbols, not hand gestures. Or at least I meant it to be about them, although I failed to mention that in the OP. Also lets ignore issues like whether the symbol can be easily confused with another symbol under poor viewing conditions. Assume people get a clear view of the symbol. (Some day I'll anticipate all these kinds of things before I write a question.)

Suggstions that look likely: copyright and trademark symbols (© ® ™), degree °, and maybe pi (π). I don't think the biohazard symbol qualifies nor do any other mathematical symbols. Even the obelus (÷) is probably not universally recognized, although it may appear on some keyboards (it doesn't on mine, though).

And perhaps I was wrong about all the currency symbols, at least the yen. The centavo symbol is certainly not universal. The dollar, pound, and euro signs I'm going to stick with though, even if they can be mistaken for letters.

The exclaimation in a triangle is a big maybe. I know it's a road sign in some places (although it'd cause confusion around here if seen on the highway) and I've seen it in instructions, but I'm not sure it's that universal.


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Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Thinking about it, Arabic numbers MAY be the most universal symbol (in the sense that they represent something abstract), as it's often intermixed with native language text, particularly in markets.
Yes, to the extent that there are degrees of "universal" (and I'm sure there are people who will think that that word should be an absolute), those are certainly the most widely recognized. Even illiterates will often recognize those.
  #53  
Old 02-15-2020, 02:52 PM
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Pi is used all over math for other things than the familiar constant.
True, but is it relevant? If the same symbol has more than one meaning, I don't think that disqualifies it from being "universal" in the way the OP is asking about. At least not if at least one of those meanings is known by everyone who recognizes the symbol.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:29 PM
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Not counting trademarks and those found on computer keyboards, what symbols can reasonably be considered universal? That is, symbols you'd expect an educated person1 from anywhere in the world to recognize.

The only ones I can think of are certain currency symbols (euro, pound, yen (although I believe those are on some computer keyboards)) and some road signs. But I'm not sure how many of the second group can really be considered universal. The Stop sign for sure; Yield and Do Not Enter, very likely; not sure if there's any others. The radioactivity symbol ☢, probably. Any others?



1 We can ignore isolated people like the Sentinelese islanders and those of remote regions of the Amazon, New Guinea, etc.
I wouldn't include road signs because there are some variations across countries.

How about the no smoking sign?

The Star of David? I guess some people wouldn't recognise it. (I'm assuming you're talking about what adults would recognise, FWIW). The swastika isn't universal because it has a different meaning in Hindusim, though then it's clockwise rather than counter-clockwise, so maybe it counts.

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Even Winston Churchill couldn't get it right - either V'ing for victory or telling you to get stuffed.

I'd suggest something very primal - the yuck face.
Are they symbols? I assumed the OP meant stuff you see in writing, not gestures.

V for victory and v for get stuffed are different to each other - it's pal out for victory, palm in for get stuffed.

The peace symbol, though, which started out as the CND logo, is probably very widely recognised, but I wouldn't say universally.
  #55  
Old 02-15-2020, 03:52 PM
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Welcome to the world of people trying to safeguard stuff like nuclear waste that will be lethal for thousands of years.

How do you say "Stay the hell away from this!" without knowing what languages will exist?
  #56  
Old 02-15-2020, 04:42 PM
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My apologies and I'll give you a right-way-round Winston V.
  #57  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:09 PM
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I disagree that the pound, euro and dollar symbols are universal. If someone has doesn't do monetary transactions in anything but their own currency, they may not recognize those. To infer that they're not "relatively intelligent" is extremely dismissive and insulting. They're just not exposed to international currency. I knew about the Euro, but when I first encountered it on the internet, it [took] a good bit of thinking to associate the symbol with the word.

That said, arguably not a symbol, but the man and woman images on Voyager 1 is universally recognizable by any human and possibly even some highly intelligent animals or alien being who may know about Earth.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-15-2020 at 05:14 PM.
  #58  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:21 PM
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I wouldn't include road signs because there are some variations across countries.
I agree for most of them. But see discussion above for the stop sign.

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How about the no smoking sign?
Possibly.

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The Star of David? I guess some people wouldn't recognise it.
Not sure that would be recognized everywhere. But as someone pointed out, the Christian cross is one.

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(I'm assuming you're talking about what adults would recognise, FWIW).
I did say educated people, so yes, that pretty much means adults.

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The swastika isn't universal because it has a different meaning in Hindusim, though then it's clockwise rather than counter-clockwise, so maybe it counts.
Is the swastika still in use in India to mean something other than Naziism? Or did the Nazis ruin it for them too?


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Are they symbols? I assumed the OP meant stuff you see in writing, not gestures.
In a later post, I made the point that I meant graphic symbols, not hand gestures. So let's skip the side thread about the peace/victory sign.
  #59  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:27 PM
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*SIGH* For those seeing Nazi swastikas everywhere in Hinduism and Buddhism, they're not Nazi swastikas! Non-Nazi swastikas can be right or left facing. But they're almost never at a 45 degree cant like the Nazi version! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
  #60  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:38 PM
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*SIGH* For those seeing Nazi swastikas everywhere in Hinduism and Buddhism, they're not Nazi swastikas! Non-Nazi swastikas can be right or left facing. But they're almost never at a 45 degree cant like the Nazi version! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
No need for the snark - we're talking about what people actually recognise, not what they should recognise.
  #61  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:39 PM
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While on the subject of religious symbols. Though it's usually associated with the Satan and satanic cults in modern times, it historically symbolizes the Cross of Saint Peter, who was said to ask to be crucified upside down because he wasn't worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Saint_Peter

This Snopes article debunks the rumor that Chelsea Clinton wore an upside down cross. It was just an optical illusion because of the angle of the photo. She actually wears a Greek Cross with 4 equal length sides. Which also dismisses the + symbol as only meaning the mathematical plus.
  #62  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:45 PM
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Aeroplane / Airplane silhouette on a road sign as indicating as indicating the way to the airport?
  #63  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:45 PM
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Is the swastika still in use in India to mean something other than Naziism?
It sure is. Outside of India, too, though (as far as I can tell) people are not idiots and are justifiably chary about spamming big fat swastikas in places like Germany.

Therefore, while educated people have heard of Nazis, you can't say that anyone would assume a swastika on a Jain flag or Buddhist graveyard or used purely decoratively has anything to do with Naziism.

ETA maybe we should consider that educated people know what a Nazi banner looks like, as opposed to a simple swastika.

Last edited by DPRK; 02-15-2020 at 05:49 PM.
  #64  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:46 PM
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No need for the snark - we're talking about what people actually recognise, not what they should recognise.
The OP specifies symbols that "an educated person" (not "reasonably intelligent", my error) would universally recognize. IMO, "an educated person" wouldn't see a Hindu swastika or Buddhist wan zi/manji and jump to the conclusion that it's a Nazi swastika. Which with a little religious respect and research would quickly dismiss.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:47 PM
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While on the subject of religious symbols. Though it's usually associated with the Satan and satanic cults in modern times, it historically symbolizes the Cross of Saint Peter, who was said to ask to be crucified upside down because he wasn't worthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Saint_Peter

This Snopes article debunks the rumor that Chelsea Clinton wore an upside down cross. It was just an optical illusion because of the angle of the photo. She actually wears a Greek Cross with 4 equal length sides. Which also dismisses the + symbol as only meaning the mathematical plus.
Argggh...The Upside Down Cross
  #66  
Old 02-15-2020, 05:54 PM
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How about the drawing of a 3.5" diskette to indicate "Save" in programs?
  #67  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:16 PM
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How about the drawing of a 3.5" diskette to indicate "Save" in programs?
I think it was here on the Dope that a kid asked what the squished Japanese vending machine symbol meant. Most people under 20 never saw a floppy disk.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-15-2020 at 06:16 PM.
  #68  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:18 PM
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How about the international "emergency exit" sign of a stick figure running out a door? Even though it's not used in the US it should be obvious what it means to any American.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:24 PM
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I thought of a few that are probably universal: suit symbols on playing cards. Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. I realize that these aren't the suits in every country's playing cards, but I think they're in widespread enough use that people everywhere will recognize them. Am I wrong?
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:51 PM
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Let's define "an educated person". It's been clarified it to mean an adult. But what type/level of education is expected? What is their scope of interest? What is their experience outside their locality. Does the fact that yes don't recognize Western-centric symbols mean they're not educated?

As I've said above, if I didn't buy things on the internet, I wouldn't know or care what the Euro symbol or pound symbol meant. Everything I buy locally in the store or on Amazon is in U.S. dollars.

As far as road signs, with the possible exception of the Stop sign, if I didn't drive, I probably wouldn't recognize most traffic signs as they don't pertain to me while walking or riding.

If I've never flown, why would I know what an airport sign means? I know what a plane is, and airports exist, but what does the sign mean? There's an airport ahead? How far? And why should I care if someone else is driving?

I may know that a Latin cross is a Christian symbol, but what is a Christian? Maybe people just like the look of the cross? I know some non-Christians, usually Asian who wear crosses because they like the style.

Back in the 90's, a popular Japanese singer was wearing a necklace with a sparkly F**K hanging from it in their CD photos. The group was known for their generally wholesome personalities and it was explained on the early internet forums that she said she just like the look of the letters without understanding that they meant.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:06 PM
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Don't know about playing cards, since they're usually associated with some type of gambling, but the heart symbol may be universal.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:07 PM
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I thought of a few that are probably universal: suit symbols on playing cards. Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs. I realize that these aren't the suits in every country's playing cards, but I think they're in widespread enough use that people everywhere will recognize them. Am I wrong?
Apart from representing themselves, do they communicate anything? My parents had traditional decks of cards with suits like batons and other weirdness. And that's just in Europe.

I presume you mean a symbol as communicating something specific, not just as a representation of itself. A horse / octopus / rifle in silhouette is easily identifiable but its what that means or is trying to say when seen on a sign or as a graphic on its own. Beware of the octopus? Yummy octopus for sale? Mega-evil crime syndicate HQ parking?

That's why I suggested an aeroplane symbol as indicating an airport. I'm happy to be wrong, but it seems fairly unambiguous for landlubbers what it is intended. Not so much because its crystal clear, but that there is a very limited palette of reasons to show planes other than the only place where they stand still.

Last edited by Banksiaman; 02-15-2020 at 07:09 PM. Reason: typo
  #73  
Old 02-15-2020, 09:13 PM
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Don't know about playing cards, since they're usually associated with some type of gambling, but the heart symbol may be universal.
But does the heart symbol stand for love in the Western sense everywhere? In every culture? I simply don't know, but I doubt it. (though it might tend more and more towards this meaning by the spread of emojis)
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  #74  
Old 02-15-2020, 10:27 PM
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The OP specifies symbols that "an educated person" (not "reasonably intelligent", my error) would universally recognize. IMO, "an educated person" wouldn't see a Hindu swastika or Buddhist wan zi/manji and jump to the conclusion that it's a Nazi swastika. Which with a little religious respect and research would quickly dismiss.
Only if you think "an educated person" means "knows significantly more than the average adult who has an interest in history and will take time to look up a symbol every time they see it."

If the question is redefined as looking for a symbol that adults who are highly educated will universally recognise, there probably isn't a single symbol that fits. The OP has clarified that they simply meant adults.

When swastikas are scrawled on buildings I don't generally think hmm, maybe they're actually using an ancient symbol with deep meaning.

Almost every educated person who isn't Hindu would see the Swastika as a Nazi symbol; that is its main use these days, unfortunately. However, like I said when I brought it up, within Hinduism the double meaning is well known, so it wouldn't qualify as universal. So to be honest I'm not sure why you felt the need to snark and act superior.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:48 PM
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The OP has clarified that they simply meant adults.
No I did not, but I can see where you got that idea. I meant adults as opposed to children who are still being educated. However, not all adults would qualify as educated. There are still illiterates out there, for example. The adults don't have to be "highly educated", just have an adequate education for their society.

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Almost every educated person who isn't Hindu would see the Swastika as a Nazi symbol; that is its main use these days, unfortunately. However, like I said when I brought it up, within Hinduism the double meaning is well known, so it wouldn't qualify as universal.
It would qualify as universal if pretty much everyone recognized it as a symbol with the same meaning or use. The fact that it may have other meanings only recognized by some people is irrelevant. If pretty much all Hindus (and other people) recognized the tilted swastika as meaning Naziism, then it's a universal symbol.

Note that symbols don't have to have a meaning. Some just are used to distinguish one thing from another. Playing card suit symbols fall into this category. I think they'd also qualify as universal, but I could be wrong.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:50 PM
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Only if you think "an educated person" means "knows significantly more than the average adult who has an interest in history and will take time to look up a symbol every time they see it."

If the question is redefined as looking for a symbol that adults who are highly educated will universally recognise, there probably isn't a single symbol that fits. The OP has clarified that they simply meant adults.

When swastikas are scrawled on buildings I don't generally think hmm, maybe they're actually using an ancient symbol with deep meaning.

Almost every educated person who isn't Hindu would see the Swastika as a Nazi symbol; that is its main use these days, unfortunately. However, like I said when I brought it up, within Hinduism the double meaning is well known, so it wouldn't qualify as universal. So to be honest I'm not sure why you felt the need to snark and act superior.
I admit to being snarky at those, not you in particular who ignorantly* think that the swastika is STRICTLY a Nazi symbol. BTW, as I've stated above, it's not just a Hindu symbol, it's a Chinese and Japanese symbol, still used in Japan to signify Buddhist temples on Japanese maps.** I don't think I'm in superior, I just see or hear something and seek out an answer rather than jumping to conclusions.

*After all, this thread is about fighting ignorance.

**The educated and uneducated ignorant who choose to remain ignorant win once again as Japan maps for foreign 2020 Olympic visitors will not have the traditional manji, but a pagoda to mark Buddhist temples.

I happen to know a little about manji because I'm Okinawan/Japanese and have been to Buddhist temples, but never associated it with the Nazi swastika. I think I once asked about was told what it really was. I forgot all about it until someone, I thought it was Madonna, but apparently not, wore a dress with the Hindu swastikas on it. Ignorant people, some educated yelled NAZI! until it was explained that it's a Hindu religious symbol. And even then some insisted it shouldn't be displayed. THAT'S TRUE IGNORANCE and religious insensitivity which is the point of my posts.

BTW, to be fair, I did post that I thought the the five pointed star on some Real ID U.S driver's licenses was chillingly reminiscent of of the Star of David issued to Jews during WWII and was flamed hard for that. So, yes, MY paranoia and ignorance comes out sometimes. I still don't like the idea of a star on my DL, and I hope Hawaii doesn't use that symbol when I have to renew my license.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:57 PM
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I admit to being snarky at those, not you in particular who ignorantly* think that the swastika is STRICTLY a Nazi symbol. BTW, as I've stated above, it's not just a Hindu symbol, it's a Chinese and Japanese symbol, still used in Japan to signify Buddhist temples on Japanese maps.** I don't think I'm in superior, I just see or hear something and seek out an answer rather than jumping to conclusions.

*After all, this thread is about fighting ignorance.
Edit: Should be: after all this FORUM is about fighting ignorance.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:08 AM
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It would qualify as universal if pretty much everyone recognized it as a symbol with the same meaning or use. The fact that it may have other meanings only recognized by some people is irrelevant. If pretty much all Hindus (and other people) recognized the tilted swastika as meaning Naziism, then it's a universal symbol.

Note that symbols don't have to have a meaning. Some just are used to distinguish one thing from another. Playing card suit symbols fall into this category. I think they'd also qualify as universal, but I could be wrong.
Awww, you're moving the goalposts.

So, it doesn't matter if + is recognized as plus, ten or a Greek cross? Not fair!
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:54 AM
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Awww, you're moving the goalposts.

So, it doesn't matter if + is recognized as plus, ten or a Greek cross? Not fair!
Sorry, I didn't mean to move them. This is what I had in mind when I started the thread. I guess I didn't explain it very well. However, maybe I can fix it up a bit.

Context is often critical to a symbol's meaning, just as it is for those of words and other things. So a symbol with multiple meanings, that everyone recognizes with the same meaning in a typical context, it's universal. So if everyone recognizes a + as a plus sign when it's written in between two number, then it's universal.

So if the tilted swastika scrawled on a wall is seen by everyone as Naziism, then it qualifies. Or if they recognize it in some other typical context (e.g. neo-Nazi literature). The Hindu/Buddhist meaning is obviously not so recognized, so it's not universal.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:16 AM
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Being anal. Number of Hindus worldwide 1.1 billion, 15% of the world population. Number of Buddhists 535 million, 7% of the world population. Total 22% of the world population. So probably more people know about the swastika/wan zi/manji as a religious symbol than those think if it a Nazi symbol. Again, not trying to be superior, just pointing out easily researched facts!

Last edited by lingyi; 02-16-2020 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:26 AM
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Sorry, I didn't mean to move them. This is what I had in mind when I started the thread. I guess I didn't explain it very well. However, maybe I can fix it up a bit.

Context is often critical to a symbol's meaning, just as it is for those of words and other things. So a symbol with multiple meanings, that everyone recognizes with the same meaning in a typical context, it's universal. So if everyone recognizes a + as a plus sign when it's written in between two number, then it's universal.

So if the tilted swastika scrawled on a wall is seen by everyone as Naziism, then it qualifies. Or if they recognize it in some other typical context (e.g. neo-Nazi literature). The Hindu/Buddhist meaning is obviously not so recognized, so it's not universal.
So for at least China and Japan, and probably most other countries, arabic numerals must be used, making them almost certainly universal in math equations.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:18 AM
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So for at least China and Japan, and probably most other countries, arabic numerals must be used, making them almost certainly universal in math equations.
As far as I know, the arabic numerals are used in every country on Earth. No exceptions. They may also use other numerals in certain circumstances but they all use arabic numerals. And everyone learns them in school. The only people who don't use them are isolated, such as the Sentinelese and the Pirahã.


BTW, as far as the "moving the goalposts" thing, I'm fairly sure I didn't actually do that. If you read only my posts, you won't find it. Some other people, likely including yourself, made some assumptions about the topic that went beyond what I said. However, it's still at least partially my fault for not explaining what I meant better.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:49 AM
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Being anal. Number of Hindus worldwide 1.1 billion, 15% of the world population. Number of Buddhists 535 million, 7% of the world population. Total 22% of the world population. So probably more people know about the swastika/wan zi/manji as a religious symbol than those think if it a Nazi symbol. Again, not trying to be superior, just pointing out easily researched facts!
Speaking as a Hindu, I should hope that educated Hindus would recognize that a Swastika is a Nazi symbol except in circumstances in which it's clear it's being used as a Hindu symbol.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:57 AM
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A pointing finger.

See one of those on a sign and you know that there's something in that direction. Oftentimes you can figure out based on context what that something is without being able to understand any writing or signage associated with it.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:29 AM
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Speaking as a Hindu, I should hope that educated Hindus would recognize that a Swastika is a Nazi symbol except in circumstances in which it's clear it's being used as a Hindu symbol.
Knowing and misinterpreting/ignorance are two different things. It may be because of my search history, but this is the top link when I Google swastika:

"swas·ti·ka
/ˈswästəkə/

noun
an ancient symbol in the form of an equal-armed cross with each arm continued at a right angle, used (in clockwise form) as the emblem of the German Nazi party."

Edit: The second link is to the Wikipedia article that shows both clockwise and anti-clockwise examples of the religious swastika and the canted Nazi swastika.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-16-2020 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:43 AM
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A pointing finger.

See one of those on a sign and you know that there's something in that direction. Oftentimes you can figure out based on context what that something is without being able to understand any writing or signage associated with it.
OP clarified that the intent of this thread is symbols, not gestures like V for Victory/Peace.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:58 AM
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Knowing and misinterpreting/ignorance are two different things. It may be because of my search history, but this is the top link when I Google swastika:

"swas·ti·ka
/ˈswästəkə/

noun
an ancient symbol in the form of an equal-armed cross with each arm continued at a right angle, used (in clockwise form) as the emblem of the German Nazi party."

Edit: The second link is to the Wikipedia article that shows both clockwise and anti-clockwise examples of the religious swastika and the canted Nazi swastika.
I’m not sure what your point is.

In terms of the meaning of the swastika, it’s a matter of context, not its direction or orientation.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:28 PM
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I’m not sure what your point is.

In terms of the meaning of the swastika, it’s a matter of context, not its direction or orientation.
The direction and orientation of the Nazi swastika IS critical. With the exception of ancient representations, AFAIK, the Hindu swastika and Buddhist wan zi/manji is NEVER at an angle. Hitler must have known this and purposely canted the Nazi version.

"The Nazis' principal symbol was the hakenkreuz, "hooked-cross" (which resembles the Swastika) which the newly established Nazi Party formally adopted in 1920.[3] The emblem was a black swastika (卐) rotated 45 degrees on a white circle on a red background. This insignia was used on the party's flag, badge, and armband. Similar shaped swastikas were seen in United States postcards wishing people good luck in the early 1900s.[4][5]" My emphasis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

Less villianized is the inverted cross which as I stated above is now often associated with Satanism, though historically it's the Cross of Peter. If I were a follower of a church that used that cross as a religious symbol, I'd be highly insulted if someone thought I was a follower or Satanism.

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Old 02-16-2020, 12:36 PM
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I'll leave the last word to you or anyone else that may choose to comment on my posts as I see I'm banging my head against a brick wall.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:07 PM
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The direction and orientation of the Nazi swastika IS critical. With the exception of ancient representations, AFAIK, the Hindu swastika and Buddhist wan zi/manji is NEVER at an angle. Hitler must have known this and purposely canted the
I’m sorry but this is untrue. Nazis used and neo-Nazis use the symbol in all kinds of ways.

Official uses tended toward a pattern but not because that was the only pattern that symbolized Nazi-ism big because like any organized institution, it made sense to follow a style guide. That didn’t mean that swastikas in different formats didn’t indicate Nazism.

And that last statement about Hitler must have known and so rotated the symbol is nonsense. Hitler didn’t need to distinguish the Nazi party symbol from Hindu and Buddhist uses. But the party was good at propaganda so made sure everything looked cool.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:08 PM
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I'll leave the last word to you or anyone else that may choose to comment on my posts as I see I'm banging my head against a brick wall.
What you’re doing is drawing false conclusions from faulty premises.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:14 AM
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A pointing finger.

See one of those on a sign and you know that there's something in that direction. Oftentimes you can figure out based on context what that something is without being able to understand any writing or signage associated with it.
Index finger pointing is not universal, there are cultures that consider it rude and use thumb pointing, whole-hand pointing or other variations.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:05 AM
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Index finger pointing is not universal, there are cultures that consider it rude and use thumb pointing, whole-hand pointing or other variations.
Since this thread is supposed to be about graphic images and not gestures, I thought this reference was to pointing fingers that used to be somewhat common on late 19th/early 20th century posters and advertisements.

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Old 02-17-2020, 07:01 AM
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FWIW, I was clearly referencing pointing fingers as used on signs. As in:

This way to the egress. 👉

I was thinking an face with x's for eyes would be universal for death/poison/warning, but apparently the emoji's for this generally mean dizzy (huh?) or shock.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:07 AM
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Since this thread is supposed to be about graphic images and not gestures, I thought this reference was to pointing fingers that used to be somewhat common on late 19th/early 20th century posters and advertisements.
That was what I understood, too. I'm just pointing out that they wouldn't be universally understood.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:42 AM
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[...]
And male/female stick figures for segregated washrooms?
[...]
In Poland the Symbol for the male washromm is a equilateral triangle pointing down and for the females it is a circle (or ws it the other way around?), so not universal.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:01 PM
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In Poland the Symbol for the male washromm is a equilateral triangle pointing down and for the females it is a circle (or ws it the other way around?), so not universal.
OK, those would totally confuse me, since I've never been to Poland. But wouldn't almost all Poles still recognize the symbols we use in the rest of Europe (and most of the world)?

(Insert Pole joke here.)
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:27 PM
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OK, those would totally confuse me, since I've never been to Poland. But wouldn't almost all Poles still recognize the symbols we use in the rest of Europe (and most of the world)?

(Insert Pole joke here.)
I don't know, but they sure have a lot of fun with drunk tourists in bars around there.
(The only Pole joke I remember only works in German, sorry. Believe me, it is better that way Except in case you admit jokes about the former Pope as Pole jokes, there I remember a couple.)
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Old 02-17-2020, 04:14 PM
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Index finger pointing is not universal, there are cultures that consider it rude.
That culture is the USA. It's amusing how that American characteristic always seems to be blamed on 'other' cultures.

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Don't know about playing cards, since they're usually associated with some type of gambling,
.
That's why they are almost universally recognized
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:22 PM
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Index finger pointing is not universal, there are cultures that consider it rude and use thumb pointing, whole-hand pointing or other variations.
Even when pointing out directions, inanimate objects and such? I always thought the rude thing was to point straight at you! Only Uncle Sam does that!
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