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Q&A: Sideways 'peace' sign, double-dip recession, big day for Dow

Turning 'peace' sign sideways

What is the meaning of the sideways "peace" double-finger sign that teenagers sometimes flash? I watched a Miley Cyrus video and she displayed the symbol. I know that, pointed up, the sign in the '60s and in Japan still means either "peace" or "two," in Europe turned backwards it has a negative connotation, but what is the meaning when it's sideways?

There doesn't seem to be a universal definition of what the sideways peace sign means. But the majority opinion seems to be that it's still just the peace sign, with kids and young adults turning it 45 degrees to give it more of a flair than what you saw in the 1960s and 1970s. For some, it's considered more "gangster" to turn it sideways.

Some people also call the sign "deuces," and when they use it they call it "chunking the deuce" as a combination peace and goodbye sign.

Ups and downs of 'double dip'

What are the two "dips" in a "double-dip recession"?

The National Bureau of Economic Research doesn't give a specific definition of a double-dip recession, other than that it's "akin to a continuous recession that's punctuated by a period of growth, then followed by a further decline in the economy," chairman Robert Hall told the Associated Press.

Hall, an economics professor at Stanford University, said activity might rise for a period, but not far enough to complete a cycle, then fall again, and then rise above its original level, at that point completing the cycle.

The National Bureau of Economic Research officially declares when recessions begin and end.

One giant leap for the Dow

The Dow's going down more than 1,000-plus points in one hour on May 6 made me wonder: Has there ever been a time when the Dow went up 1,000-plus points in the same period of time?

The Dow has never gone up more than 1,000 points in one hour, said Lawrence D. Brown, a professor in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. The largest increase was 936.42 points in one day, which happened on Oct. 13, 2008.

Correction

In the Aug. 20 Ask the Times column, we were asked about famous Americans who didn't have college degrees. We researched, started compiling a list, researched some more and added to it and by the time we were done, had a list of about 100 people. When we trimmed the list to fit the column space, we overlooked the point that it was supposed to have Americans only, and included a couple of Brits: Winston Churchill and J.K. Rowling.

Q&A: Sideways 'peace' sign, double-dip recession, big day for Dow 09/02/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 2, 2010 2:17pm]
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